spears + horseman are both easy to mass, normally you already have a spear production going on. Horsemen counters archers, spears counter horsemen, spears neutralise spears.
Enemie has to go spears + archers to counter your horseman + spears.
However, when you trained up your microing, the fact that you got cav and the opponent dosn’t. Gives you the added mobility and flexibility to outmanuver the opponent.
Also in a spears + horseman vs spears + horseman, the sipahi will win out. as they have higher base stats.
Horseman also soft-counters early MAA, and your spears will hardcounter any early knights. So you are pretty well covered as long as you can keep your spear losses minimum against their archers, and pick off as many archers as you can at the same time.
Sipahi is also great for raiding buildings as Fortitude (Which 90% of the forum will tell you is a crap ability) works against buildings.
Note that Fortitude only increases damage taken from MELEE and not range attacks.
Fortitude increases atk speed by 50%, this also applies to Tortch damage. Meaning Sipahi with fortitude does 1.5x more damage against buildings. Great for burning down squishy buildings such as houses, camps and exposed farms. And taking down critical infra at crucical moment.
Also great at taking out undefended siege fast.
And people who advocate against Jans are your typical Otto-patriots that flood these forums.
Janisarries are great when used correctly. They are just very specialised and needs a support unit. You cant run single-unit composition with Jans like you do with Handcannoneers.
Kinda like how HRE landsknecht kinda sucks by themselves and there was a time on the forums when people complained landsknechts are useless and to expensive, but when combined with MAA they are great.
While MAA/Xbow is always a solid composition. I find far greater successrates with Jans+Xbow. Especially if instead of going spears + Sipahi in the early game, and double down on archers (Which is also strong for ottoman feudal game).
You save yourself in having use extra resources on building extra production buildings.
And allow yourself to get that early castle age siege and exploit a timing window far better.
Also Janissaries used to be far worse than before, as they had a wind-up time on attacks that screwd them over. especially on their first attack. They fixed that issue and now they respond like normal handcannoneers.
which allows you to get volley out before enemie can gets to connect their strikes.
(used to be that a knight charge would always hit before a Janissary was able to shoot)
But Jans are good units when used right.
my favorite mid to late game composition with Otto is:
jans+crossbow+sipahi. (buffed by mether ofc and supported by siege such as Mangone).
Sipahi are cheat trash units that dosn’t cost gold that you can use to raid and periodically be a meatshield against knight-rushes.
once you hit that Imperial age, and manage to secure a strong gold economy (usually through trade, especially in team games)
Rebalderquin+Mangonels covered by Jans is a death-blob that is extremely difficult to deal with as long as you cover it well against springalds/culverins.
While Jans are Gold-intensive.
They arent that expensive when you consider Ottomans have the strongest Gold-economy of all Civs.
Both in terms of Anatolian hills giving you 10% faster mining, combined with 15% from the basic mining camp research. you have a whopping 25% faster gold gathering rate.
And the ottoman gold trade is strongest in the late game, with 40% increase gold return rate, and the fastest moving traders with the sea-gate landmark.
but ofcourse, you gotta assess the situation. especially in 1v1, most battles tend to be decided during the feudal/castle age.
Don’t gamble for trade if you can not secure map controll.
But you can compensate the Jans expensiveness by the fact they produce rather fast from Military schools. (especially if you have them under the Observatory landmark influence).
I find the most challanging part playing the ottomans is Choosing the Vizier points correctly.
As you are limited by them, and they greatly impact how you are going to approach the game.
Going the wrong Vizier points at the wrong times/situations, can be quite punishing.