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The Ottomans

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Ision, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. Ision

    Ision Master

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    The Ottomans - by scoutsout

    The Industrious and Scientific Ottomans joined Civ III with Play the World, and at first glance appear to be "Persia with a Cavalry UU". Though the Ottomans have the same combination of traits as Persia, playing them well requires a slightly different approach. While strengths of the trait combination still apply, the difference in the timing of the Unique Units has a profound impact.

    The strength of the industrious and scientific trait combination makes the Ottomans as a first-tier builder civ. Both traits are are generally strong in every phase of the game. Players should not feel constrained in their choice of victory conditions; the Ottomans can compete in a Space Race or vie for world domination. Cultural victories are also within reach any scientific civ. While cheap libraries can provide an early culture and research boost, the scientific civ's cheap universities lie at a technological crossroads for the Ottomans; and it is the Sipahi that brings the Ottomans to this crossroads.

    Beyond the Middle Ages lie riflemen, the bane of the cavalry assault (though Sipahi are not truly outclassed until infantry arrive). In order to bring the Sipahi into the game quickly enough to be decisive, the Ottomans must not linger too long in the upper, peaceful, "builder" branches of the tech tree. Military Tradition must be researched as soon as possible. If the Sipahi are to be used for maximum benefit, the Ottomans simply cannot afford to pursue Navigation and Economics before Military Tradition. Those addicted to Magellan's and Smith's would be wise to choose another civ, or (better yet) break their addictions.

    The Ottoman Sipahi (an 8-3-3 cavalry class UU that requires saltpeter & horses) is a unit to be respected, if not feared. No unit in the game packs more offensive punch until the late industrial era, and the Sipahi combines that punch with terrific speed. The human player would be wise to keep a watchful eye on any AI Ottoman border - especially in the late Middle Ages. The Military Tradition requirement for the Unique Unit underscores the factor that makes the Ottomans slightly harder to play well.

    To play the Ottomans well requires a departure from research "formulas" that work well with other civs. While early archer rushes or warrior-to-sword gambits are certainly options, the Ottomans do their best warmongering later in the game. After getting Literature early, a beeline to Monarchy followed by a beeline to Military Tradition can seem awkward to those accustomed to pursuing Republic in the Ancient Age and Democracy in the Middle Ages.

    As a warmonger tribe, the Ottomans are second-tier (though at the top of that second tier). Though the Sipahi are fearsome, they arrive on the scene a little late. This is compounded by the Sipahi's cost, at 100 shields (25% higher than Cavalry). To gain maximum benefit from this unit, Military Tradition will need to be researched as quickly as possible while still building enough cash reserves to upgrade some knights. Despite this second-tier warmonger rating, Cavalry campaigns are fast, furious, and fun. A well-executed campaign with Sipahi can rampage through AI cities at a breathtaking pace on a Pangea or continental landmass. When employed as part of a "combined arms" campaign, the Sipahi remain dangerous well into the industrial era, though this is perhaps more useful to the "balance of power" player than the pure warmonger.

    Side notes: If Sipahi and the Industrious trait have a natural enemy, it is water. Archipelago maps (or continent maps with small landmasses) will be challenging to the Ottomans. The toning down of the industrious trait in C3C hurt all of the industrious civs, though this hurt the Ottomans less than others.

    In Summary: Rank beginners (who are still learning the mechanics of the game) are the only players who might want to pass on the Ottomans. Regent-Monarch level players who are trying to break "builder" habits and gain some warmongering skill should definitely try a game or three as Osman. The Ottomans can do enough building to keep a builder comfortable, while forcing a "change in formula" in order to play to the strength of the Ottoman Sipahi. Stronger players should enjoy this civ; when played skillfully - watch out! 1st tier builder, 2nd tier warmonger, mediocre on water - overall a 2nd tier CIV.

    Ision's tier ranking: A 1st tier builder CIV and a strong 1st tier warmonger CIV, along with UU that makes them a true mid-game menace - in spite of their mediocre performance on water maps, the Ottomans are an overall 1st tier CIV.

    Below is the link to all the other CIV reviews:

    this is the link to all of the civ reviews
     
  2. Ision

    Ision Master

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    The above article was written SOLELY by ‘scoutsout’. All of the arguments, conclusions and strats are based on his experience with this CIV. Scout has graciously volunteered to take on the task of writing a few of the CIV reviews. I am very grateful for his participation, in that otherwise it would be highly unlikely that all of the reviews would ever be complete. This Civ review will be placed in the ‘sticky’ that contains all of the other reviews. My personal contribution is limited to the role of editor.

    Sincerely,

    Ision

    PS: since I intend to create a graph listing all the CIVs according to overall tier rankings, I reserved the right to make the overall ‘last sentence’ tier ranking of any CIV review that will be included within my overall ‘sticky’. In other words, the very last sentence in the summary is mine.
     
  3. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Those of you who feel that his review is incorrect, sub-par, badly written, poorly structured or otherwise 'crappy' - please feel free to express yourselves!!!

    Those of you who feel that overall his reviews (or some aspect of them) are superior to Isions - please keep that to yourself.

    Sincerely, Ision
     
  4. Dell19

    Dell19 Take a break

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    Seems like its up to the same high standard. :goodjob:
     
  5. fret

    fret Chieftain

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    Thats an excellent write up!

    I'm not sure about the 2nd tier warmonger bit though, even at the top. For sheer world blitzing power I think they are awesome, second to none even. The industrial trait indirectly helps with reducing the sting of the 100 sheilds cost of the Sipahi, and the golden age is then timed perfectly, and if played well...never ends, beacuse on the turn you lose your production bonus, you can have all your mined core railroaded.

    If used properly the industrious trait can give you 25 swords and 25 horsemen in no time - and if used properly 25 swords and 25 horsemen can wipe out serious chuncks of AI's early in the game, on all but the very toughest difficulty levels.

    This combination of 8 attack Cav based UU, industrious trait, and getting steam power as little as 1 turn after getting the UU, make the ottomans the choice civ for preparing for, and executing, a 50 turn huge map obliteration that no other civ is capable of with such speed and ferocity so quickly.

    When played well I believe there is no world that cant be warmongered to death completey by the ottomans with 50 turns or so of them getting their UU, no matter how many civs they are up against, or whatever the map settings.

    I think they are second to none warmonger civ, you just have to know how to combine all their strengths into a few little baby attacks leading to 1 uber-warmonger-explosion. But other than that, I agree with every word :)
     
  6. Ision

    Ision Master

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    well said - :goodjob:

    Ision
     
  7. SLO Civer

    SLO Civer Chieftain

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    As a long time lurker here, I have to thank Ision, Scoutsout and many others for vastly improving my game with their many articles on the forums. Scoutsout's review of the Ottomans has lived up to Ision's high standards.
    Although not as adept as fret at using the Ottomans in wiping out my enemies, I'd have to agree that they are a joy to play as a warmonger. Nothing is more fun than a few armies of Sapahi rampaging through a continent of helpless AI to repay a few old debts, especially in GA.
     
  8. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    hey scout great review!

    just one thing why do you say in the early part that the ottos ar 2 tier war civ and then at the end say they are 1 tier war civ and 1 tier civ overall? anyhow thats not so important. the review was very good.

    Y
     
  9. Kaboth

    Kaboth Chieftain

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    Good review by scoutscout. Frets comments were so good they deserve to be added I think, provided he allows. If scoutscout is writing reviews and Ision that means more reviews faster, I'm definately not complaining :D. Any chance of that Hittite review seeing as their starring in the first Conquest GOTM?
     
  10. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    that is very true. i had trouble with this civ at first until i learned to commit completly to peaceful or war. to play good with ottos it is one or the other.

    Y
     
  11. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Thanks for the compliments!

    @fret: If it makes you feel better, you and Ision agree that the Ottomans warmonger status ought to be top-tier. I will gladly concede that the Ottomans are no slouch at warmongering. I will not argue with anybody who considers them top tier warmongers, because I can't make that case iron-clad. Ision wanted me to put them in a tier, so I did. :D

    Here are some things I considered when Ision forced me to make that call:

    I considered them in the context of the civs that would make up my "top ten" for warmongering. When considering the Immortal, Legionnaire, the Mounted Warrior, you're looking at some serious ancient age punch. The dirt cheap Egyptian War Chariot and tough little Hittite 3-man Chariots are also a lot of fun. In the middle ages, I love the UUs that come with Chivalry (Rider, Ansar Warrior, Samurai, and the no-resource War Elephant.) Then you've got the civs that just beg for a warmonger strategy (Zulu, Germans, Mongols, Hittites...)

    So, considering those factors (and I'll admit, a preference on my part to do much of my warmongering early) and I described them as second tier. But much of what you said is on point fret.
    This is a good and well reasoned statement. I added a little emphasis to a phrase to reiterate a point - this is an excellent civ when played well. In my opinion, they're just a tiny bit harder to play well than say... Persia, or Iroquois.

    @yankees: The part at the very end of the article where it says "strong 1st tier warmonger" is an error on my part. It should read "strong 2nd tier warmonger". In my opinion (and others disagree) I would put them at the top of the second tier for warmongering.
     
  12. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    To everybody - I apologize for the double post, but I just noticed this was SLO Civer's first post...

    @SLO Civer: Welcome to CFC! :thumbsup:
     
  13. Ision

    Ision Master

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    Scout,

    It was NOT an error on your part - it was part of our agreement that the final summary tier ranking was up to me. The very last sentence was added by me. Obviously this will lead to some confusion in the future so another approach is in order. I apologize for my inept editing in this respect. I will edit the post for clarity.

    Ision
     
  14. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Whoops... I apologize for mis-speaking. Confusion aside, at least it wasn't a typo on either of our part! :crazyeye:
     
  15. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Y
     
  16. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    i still do not agree that they are 2 tier for war. no way.

    scout, you can run a a very good early archer rush with this civ. not the best for this but alot better than most of the civs. then you can go straight to monarch gov, so the MPs will allow you to make even more units instaed of building temples or cathedrel, so your army will be even bigger than most. and then come the sipahi! sipahi for alomost a whole age time before infantry! very much like china civ or persia. like persia more, only persia start better and then slow down. otto start a little slower and then speed up.

    Y
     
  17. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Again - this is not a strongly held opinion on my part. Just like the #11 team in the rankings of your favorite sport could beat #10 on "any given Saturday", I think the Ottomans are just fine for warmongering. I had to make a call, and I made it. To those who love to warmonger with the Ottomans, your affections are not misplaced.
    That is an excellent comparison of Persian and Ottomans, and an excellent summary of why Ottomans are not "Persia with a Cavalry UU".
     
  18. bigchief

    bigchief Chieftain

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    Nice write up, Scout. It will be great to be able to get all the civs done much quicker. Thanks to both of you.

    I would like to make a suggestion: While the articles are helpful to veteran players, and they have made me rethink playing a couple of civs, I believe they are most useful to the newer players. Many of these players will start out with only vanilla, or vanilla and PTW, if they bought the gold edition. People have just added, or will be adding, the Conquests expansion. In my opinion, there are differences in the tier placement between the versions. For instance, this particular civ is not aplicable in Vanilla. I believe they are at the top, if not, they are certainly very near the top in PTW, but they slip a bit down the list in C3C, because of the partial nerfing of the industrious trait, the addition of the two new strong traits, and the addition of some of the new civs. This is the case for many of the different civs. If it would not be too much trouble, I believe it would be most valuable to do the tier rankings based on the version the the player will be playing.
     
  19. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    I would agree that the Ottomans are a 2nd tier warmoger civ (although very near the top of that pile). You have to take the timing of the UU into account as well. Often by the late middle ages you have all but won the game already or should be in a good postion to catch up. Also the boost Sipahi give compared to normal cavalry isn't that great compared to other UUs earlier in the game (Immortals, Mounted Warriors and Legionaires come to mind) compared to the equivilent units in the game.

    Very good civ though and is definately not crap.
     
  20. Ision

    Ision Master

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    error post
     

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