Any tips to play ottomans?

I am main abbasid, I love the style of play of Ottomans, pushing large amount of units since the beginning, but since they came to AoE4, I played them in multiple times and I feel like I can’t never push a enough army to win the game.

I feel their castle age so weak, because Janissary doesn’t play well vs MAA push (and I want to use them, LMAO), and the vizier system is tricky to me, I don’t know which one I should get depending of the enemy or the build I want to execute.

So, has anyone any build with Ottomans including viziers to get Ottomans working? I tried building the building that spams free units since the beginning to make pressure using the spears, but I feel like these units never make enough pressure (They can get easily killed by just the villagers).

One build that I’ve been struggling against Otto’s are the spamming archers build, where you get the vizier that gives you mov speed to troops, and spam a lot of archers, is this the only feudal aggressive build?

There are a few Ottoman unit composition that is pretty good.

I personally find for the early aggro that Spears + Sipahi is pretty strong.

Spears + Horseman is a universally good early aggro composition, Sipahi is just a even better version.

What makes Sipahi especially good for me in the early game, as someone who is used playing Mongols, is Fortitude is great for quickly burning down buildings.
So you can put a lot of pressure especially when theres a house outside the TC range.

For the Castle age, Siege is the key for the Ottomans, Janissaries are among the best units to protect that siege.
Janissary + Crossbows + Mangonels is a exceptionally deadly combo especially if you go for the Vizier point of garrisoning units inside your mangonel.

Janissaries melts the Horsemen.
Crossbows melts the MaA

Janissary+Crossbow absolutely shred through Knights like that scene from The Last Samurai movie where they charge a Gatling gun.

The Mangonels hardcounters the Archers which is the only real counter unit against this composition.

So you force the enemie to respond with springalds.
Which is where Ottomans will outperform as they have better springalds with their vizier points, so a castle age springald vs springald, the ottomans will win out.


+Use early aggression. Go for dark age spear rush ( not against English )
+Mehter is your key on battles. Allways use some mehters.
+Feudal push makes ottos shine so use it with sipahi + archers
+Field healing is so important do not neglect it.
+STAY AWAY FROM JANNISARIES do not touch even the icon. Act as if there no unit like this.
+in 3rd age always use ur siege. For me siege is maybe the most important part of otto’s composition.
+M@A +X Bows works fine alongside with sipahi.
+Never create jannisaries. Use Xbows (Cheaper and better against almost everything when massed )
+Do not use jans.
+4th age is time push for ottos. Because the other civs late game individual soldiers are stronger then otto soldiers. So u need to gain upper-hand in earlier ages. Do not carry the game to super late situations.
There is no soldier type rather then sipahi that you can rely on at 4 th age.
+never use janissaries again.
+Dont rely on Great bombard thing. Its chunky and expensive also it dies way too easy while it’s dmg is that cool.
+Visier thing in order = Field Work + +%25 military school creating speed + +1 Military School + Advanced Academy + Siege crews or trade bags.
+Allways get Mehmed’s thing when u are up to 3rd age.
+Never use jannisaries again.

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Maybe jans are only worth when enemy is using a lot of cav? Eg a french?

Why spears + horses instead archers + horses?

Even against cavalry i go M@A and Xbows. Jans are too expensive and their range is only 3.5… French KTS can wipe out jans when close. Humble spears are more trustworthy as they don’t die to other units as terrible as jans.
Jans are so expensive u can create 5 xbows 3-4 M@A with cost of 5-6 Jannis.
Man just stay away from Jans they are terribly bad.

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As abbasid I prefer go spears + xbows instead maa + xbows, I feel stronger composition since spears can protect your range from cavalry better than MAA, and I mix a few mangos to protect the whole comp from archers.

But it’s true that my spears as abbasid are better than ottoman’s spears.

I will try then avoiding to use jans. They look cool, but if they are not worth…

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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.

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Thank you for your post, it’s very useful. Which viziers do you like more in which situations? I always choose mehter in feudal, then an extra military school.

I find it extremely situational, and map dependant.
But say I get black Forest, getting Anatolian Hills is a no-brainer. It’s a pretty turtle map and you wanna gather that gold as fast as possible and turbo age up.

However if I get a map such as Mountain Clearing, you are pretty much guaranteed to have dark age fights, getting Field Works (2 imams) extremely strong for early aggression. Especially combined with Sipahi as you can easily do hit and run, heal up and constantly apply pressure at feudal.

But usually on team games, going for the Mether is a solid option, as going the ottoman feudal archer blob unversally strong in both a offensive and defensive fight.
and having a lot of range units, methers is a must.

Siege Crews is mandatory, but I do hold back on it if I’m not playing an aggresive game or getting pressured by siege.
Getting that 1 extra military school is pretty mandatory and you should always get this when possible.

However, if you are doing a really good push into enemie base and they are starting to bring siege to turn the tides, having siege crews becomes more important due to the springalds buff.

Again, assess the situation.

Trade Bags i tend to hold off to the late game and only get this if I’m going for Sea-gate castle and heavy into trade.

If you decide to get the Trade Bags, then getting Anatolian hills becomes unescessary.
But again, map dependant. Maps such as French pass and Altai are extremely good for trading, even early trading. So getting Trade Bags and go for ottoman trade is favorable.

Fast training is Mandatory once you can get it.

Janissary company is situational. Use it only at break-points, when you know you need that extra insta boost of units to save your own hide or initiate a counter-death push. (You kinda want to mass as many military units as fast as possible and go for it)

Advanced Academy is very good, but not always nescessary. I always get it because I like playing with the janissaries a lot. And it “cheapens” up obtaining the Jans.

Other than that, I tend to prefer letting my military schools produce maa or sipahi.

But to give an example what I would go:

Team game, Map altai:
Land marks: Sultahani Trade Network - Istanbull Imperial Palace - Great Sea Gate
Vizier points: Mehter drums - Trade bags - Military Campus - Fast Training - Siege crews - Advanced Academy - Field Work

1v1, Map Dry Arabia:
Land Marks: Twin minaret - Mehmed Imperial Armory - istanbul Obervatory
Vizier Points: Field Work - Anatolia Hills - Siege Crews - Fast Training - Military Campus

In feudal, archers are the best option. Primarily for the existing build order but also in that they combo nicely with knights in age 3.

For age 3 I prefer to mass knights and archer/xbow with some mehters distributed. Since janissaries are complete trash I tend to rely on mehter knight - the extra speed and the attacks speed aura setting puts Otto knights up there with almost the Rus in my experience. The other thing to do in age 2 as add maa/spears and alot of siege and just beat through all in you way.

Age 4 is a bit tough. The GB is pretty decent once you have about 3 and can reliably protect them. Ribauldequins are veeery underrated. You cant use jans cuz they were uncomfortable easy to counter before in age 3, now its even worse because handcannons just dust them so infantry based comps are kinda tough. Heavy cav with mehter is stil kinda strong but its hardly top tier. Fact is ottos just be weak that late.

Jans will lose to archers, xbows and knights of stronger knight civs (french), sofa, and all infantry and even rus horsemen. A situation unit is a weak one that does its job well, Jans are bad at everything so they’re more of an Achilles heel to every unit comp. Look in the Otto general thread for video proof of how much they suck - they’re shilled pretty hard and there’s alot of long posts with stories on using them with no actual video evidence in testing, ladder games, casts or tournaments to actually prove this. The best you got is Drongo gassing up jans when marinelord made 8 of them them that 1 time and they spent the fight running to get in firing range and then shooting a tc. Just go age 4 and make ribs.