Ottoman’s historic weaknesses have all been removed…

Disclaimer: I’m talking about history within the game, this is a game balance discussion, not one about history.

Ottomans were, for a long time a civ with a very good military and poor economy. They have incredible age 2 builds available to them, largely based off of crates sent from the home city to power the production of powerful units that punched above what their cost implies. Add to that an amazing FF with great cards and you have a powerhouse of a civ. It has also long had great FI and Revolution builds. Basically, they can do any momentum based play well.

Their weaknesses largely revolved around a few things:

  1. Difficulty killing Dragoons. Abus have long been an incredible unit, but historically they were balanced out somewhat because while they were unusually good against skirms, they traded that uniqueness for being unusually bad against Dragoons. Ottoman’s best anti goon options were basically CA/Abus or Jan/Abus. Both of those were weaker than normal against Dragoons, allowing a sufficient goon mass to be part of the win condition for multiple civs.

  2. A slow economy. For years Ottomans had a slow economy. This forced Ottomans to be very careful not to lose their army. Getting your whole army wiped out was hard to do, but if it happened you often had just invested such a massive amount into it that remassing wasn’t possible. It would take way too long unless this was late enough that you had a lot of vills.

  3. Late game. Ottomans lack of Fencing School made things difficult because at the stables and Artillery foundry they only had access to 2+ pop units with the training speed reductions. Going heavy cav + cav archers + Abus was a pop inefficient rock, paper, scissors comp. Jans trained slowly so your 1 pop unit was slow to mass. They also weren’t great against heavy cav.

Azaps removed the weakness vs light cavalry. The unit might actually be fine alone at this point, it has received some earlier game nerfs over time. But it wasn’t the only change.

The Ottoman economy has been sped up slightly. Alone this was probably a great change.

The Ottoman’s have received a number of late game buffs. A version of fencing School was added, it’s less effective for natives and Mecs, but those rarely matter. This in addition to units that are upgrades on the Hussar and Grenadier, along with a new unit to round out Ottoman’s roster was too much.

I’m sure someone will point out that the winrates for Ottoman aren’t significantly out of line, but as it has been pointed out, the ELO system is designed to get you to a 50% WR. There’s a number that has been floating around that says Otto mains may be running with a WR that’s inflated by 150 points. Meaning they are often fighting players with greater skill than they have to keep their win rate in check.

Something that will need to be understood, is that the nerfs required to bring Ottoman’s elo inflation down WILL result in a short term drop in the win rate of the civ. This should stabilize after a few months as players’ elo lowers so they are winning about 50% of the time against people who match their skill. Bring inflation down will require short term pain. There will likely be a gut reaction to say “Ottoman was overnerfed, buff it again”, but the WR should return on its own, and the urge to fix it manually will have to be ignored for a while.

Now, what do I suggest we do about this?

Partially Reintroducing Weakness #1:
Azaps should be 4 speed. Azaps do incredibly high damage to light cav, so Ottoman’s still have the best anti light cavalry unit in the game, but this will slow their army down to better allow asymmetric warfare using heavy and light cavalry to raid and stall for time to delay ottoman pushes. This will not put Ottomans back to where they were previously, but at least their extremely powerful army will be slow again to make retreats harder if a fight is bad
(This is kinda an indirect fix to #2).

#2: I don’t believe an economic scaling nerf is actually what Ottomans need. So I suggest not touching this. Reducing the mobility of Azaps should somewhat help by allowing ill-advised pushes to be more easily punished. Even with the improved eco losing their army still hurts more than normal, just not as much as it did.

Partially Reintroducing Weakness #3:

  1. Acemi Oglan School (cheaper HI in age 4) should be nerfed. It was fine, but the addition of Matrakci School (infantry train faster) has made it too strong. I’d suggest -15% Janissary cost (Jans get a lesser nerf because they are iconic and should be a core unit), -10% Nizam cost (no change), -20% Azap food cost (wood cost will no longer be reduced), and -10% Humbaraci cost.
  2. Matrakci School should be changed to either -25% infantry/shock infantry training time and moved to age 1, or it should be combined with Engineering School for -20% Infantry/Shock Infantry and Artillery training time. The latter suggestion is actually a small buff in some cases, but for late game and treaty it’s still a nerf overall.

Asymmetrical civ design is a core part of this game. I think a lot of issues players have with the Ottomans come from that core tenant of the game’s design being thrown out of wack.

Demonstrations of Asymmetric Civ Design:

Russia has a great early game and late game but a poor mid game and early weekness to heavy cavalry. Later on they have cheap but weak Skirmishers.

India has a strong early and mid game but falls off later.

Portugal has a terrible early game, but a good mid-late game.

French are okay at everything except water. Then they have a good late game.

I think the changes I suggested above can restore exploitable weaknesses to Ottomans, while keeping many of the cool new additions that have been made largely intact.


Pffff I think it is enough already. Your personal dislike to Ottomans won’t bring you any good, just play and enjoy the game.

Ottoman win rate is at 50% which means they are balanced. There is not a better counter-answer to that.

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there is so much wrong with this statement, from a statistical model perspective to game balance perspective, i cant tell if troll or genuinely you fail to understand the system you reference

TLDR, win rate always pushes to 50, its not just 50 it varies, there is still elo inflation thats demonstrable, this doesnt exclude any civ from being balance since win rate is a important tool but not the only tool. If a civ was 100% win rate vs half the civ, but 0% win rate vs other half, does that make it balanced?

If you want an good faith discussion, which is kind of the point, its usually best not to open with hyperbole and poor statements. Ig the thread might get spicy now which is its own fun


I think this may be relative to the conversation. I’ll add that I misremembered the exact inflation stats. It’s more like +100 rather than +150. I’ll also admit I don’t fully understand the underlying numbers, though I’m guessing they represent winrates against specific civs.


its global win rate across elo brackets from 1k to 1900+ as of december patch when that was pulled
i could try to pull the current win rates for intra civ matchups but new patch makes data sketchy due to low numbers but i could dare to format it in a way this forum could make readable

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Yeah, it’s almost funny how little had to be added to achieve this. It was basically just like one unit and a new card. Fencing School and Azaps.

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… and a whole rebuild for 3 units (abus, humba, deli), putting 2 cards into 1 (artillery hp/damage), and 3 more age 4 stat boost cards.

This does give them some very strong units…its also hard to take anything here said to seriously. You choose to complain about units on a civ with possibly the weakest merc/native roster? Consider how many strats circle around sending some of the OP recent mercs or the new royal house units or some kind of double revolt and understand that swedes have been doing this and more for years.

Yes, there’s powercreep. Old civs have been steadily updated. French, Germans, Ports got thier own weaknesses toned down and their stregnths polished. Ottos got a huge update cuz it was just that long coming.

Do you play team or treaty mostly?
cause that is only relevant to 3v3 a bit, FFA and treaty
in 1v1 most civs dont really specialize or tech always into nats
As for merc spam, this is again not really a common supremacy issue
I know otto is mid tier from being low tier in treaty, but that mode is sort of niche. Majority of players play 1v1 and then teams supremacy. Not that treaty doestn deserve to be balanced, but most the issue with ottoman comes from that common player mode

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I play mostly treaty with ottos and go ports/hausa in supremacy.

Personally, I’ve really only seen (fairly strong) jan+azap pushes from ottos in supremacy lately - those are tough since you cant really fight them head on, but it usually ends up being who can snipe the others first falc shipment better. Dont really feel thats its a cause for the cascade of nerfs I see on forums.

Ever since the TC build rate nerf for Ottos, the abus vs light cav nerf, and the mosque tech cost changes things have felt mostly manageable against Otto.

well hausa is very good vs otto
normal civs dont have a mass of steppes and super archer and goon age2. This is one of ottos few bad m/u (lakota and germany are as well to a degree)

The normal otto playbook is just FF faster than opponent can react, mass jans abus or jan falc or deli abus or abus cav archer etc with sipahi being the game ender for many civs. and the slower TC makes 0 difference if your not a ##### and dont throw your explorer away. most civs dont have the shipment curve to keep up or the age2 power or have enough age2 siege to deal with TC, MM, Fort then more TC and MM until they just lose to age4 pops. Its very common to watch otto win games with 10 vills or less these days as the civ simply doesnt give an F about eco if it gets its shipments quick enough

Abus, artillery, grens, azap, deli (at least until 2 cav cards) jans and TCs that dont drain eco (iirc each otto TC is worth 5 vills of free food production) with no downside. The civs that beat them tend to be more broken (USA, mexican revolts, hausa till nerfs) while old bad matchups continue to be slightly to mitigated. All while otto smokes dutch haude brits ports (a bit less with 3 organs now) russia india china japan sweden and im not sure anymore but used to be azzies. thats literally half the civs off the top of my head.

It always felt to me like Ottos traded a stronger upfront strategy with the cost of being dead in the water right after. Like, they can and do achieve a bigger age 2 push, a faster age 3/4 all in, etc off of very few vills, but at the same time the reality is that if the single chosen strategy fails then they end up with nothing and half your vill count.

It seemed balanced at a glance beacuse they’re whole theme seemed to be an all or nothing style of play with more extreme conditions at both ends.

Though I do take your point that playing a civ that has enough upfront power to weather the initial assault might be skewing my perspective, I will say that I’ve found it easy enough to turtle through it as ports too.

Overall I’d prefer something more like toning down the power of a clearly broken strat as opposed to installing an achilles heel anywhere, and I’m really not convinced the Otto strats are all that bad.

Abus, artillery, grens, azap, deli (at least until 2 cav cards) jans and TCs that dont drain eco (iirc each otto TC is worth 5 vills of free food production) with no downside. The civs that beat them tend to be more broken (USA, mexican revolts, hausa till nerfs) while old bad matchups continue to be slightly to mitigated. All while otto smokes dutch haude brits ports (a bit less with 3 organs now) russia india china japan sweden and im not sure anymore but used to be azzies. thats literally half the civs off the top of my head.

I’ve seen complaints about abus be mostly about team games - they are strong and even pop efficient, but they are even more fragile than casadors - which they trade with siege damage and lower initial range. Well thats an ageless debate, I guess.

Deli, after being balanced, are pretty much identical to generic hussars. To split hairs, we get a diff of 4% more dps, 0.7% more speed and 1.6% less hp. I dont know if this is supposed to be a point for an additional perk or not, tbh.

Humba are probably the top 5 gren type, if only for the fact that they have a role to play in later ages - but they have the unfortunate disadvatage in that they lose to basic mass musks in 2 where normal grens dont. It just seems like another power trade to me.

The extra TC’s dont seem that unique. Any civ can pretty easily match or exceed that, especially ones with the extra covered wagon card in age 3. More, saying Otto TC’s give 5 vills of free food production, is a) wrong b) more like saying a 2.08 food trickle per TC while losing 23 vill seconds of activity per vill - unless you pay another TC cost in wood to bring that down.

As for jans, azap, and artillery are definitely over the top, here I agree.

Jans are pretty much the strongest in age 2 - shoot out dedicated melee units, cut apart fragile counters, naturally good vs cav…yea the buff to 215 hp was unneeded. Might be a good idea to being down the initail seige damage and give it back via upgrades - some more response time might help

Azaps are a pike type that are the only pike type in the game that can counter any and all kinds of cav and they’re base stats can hold up with meso civ pikes - thats way too much. Only downside they have is the unsusually weak siege damage for a pike type, but they pair with jans so meh. Not sure how to nerf this without bringing back the old problem of cav just running through otto in age 2- that was a valid old problem.

The artillery is mostly fine, but the moqsue tech got the added effect of bringing bombards down to 6 pop. No reason to have that kind of power.

Kinda the point of my first post was actually that it would be reinstalling lesser versions of achilles heels that kept ottoman in check for years.

I think the main problem is the civ is great at each stage of Supremacy. It’s not okay for it to be great in every stage. Portuguese are weak until they get going. Russia is good early and great late, but has a weak point in the mid game. India falls off a cliff late game, meaning they’re on a timer, win sooner or die. I could go through others as well, but I think you get the point.

I think it’s extremely easy to complain about all the little things Ottoman’s get that are “randomly stronger for no reason”, but I think the list of things that need to be nerfed is rather short. I believe I outlined 3 changes that could be made to fix a lot of the supremacy issues. I actually do find it rather unfortunate that one of them will really hurt Ottoman in treaty, that being a nerf to the training speed card. But I kinda think it’s required, the units get too strong to train so quickly in Sup (and in team a lot of people take those).

I think a lot of the late game issues come from the combination of cheap, powerful heavy infantry and -40% training time with a fairly normal late game eco from a Sup perspective. If you mostly build HI late game it’s like a +20% eco on top of all the upgrades (and I think mathematically that works on top of eco ups rather than base gather rates). That was only okay when things took forever to train. It’s hard to drain an eco like that when our team game inevitably turns into a soft core treaty game with “late game sup decks” that have useless unit shipments and like 700c and 3 vills.

As far as Delis go, they escape hand cav in age 2 which is a fairly sizable advantage. Obviously in age 3 and beyond that is less significant. The biggest thing is actually break points vs some units allowing for less overkill. Strelets have 72hp in age 2 and get 3-hit faster by delis than Hussars. A 3 deli shipment can delete list 20 strelets like they were nothing.

They actually buffed them vs light cav last patch. In age 5 they do like 70 damage per shot to light cavalry, that’s also at either a RoF of 1.75 or 1.5 at 20 range. A fully upgraded Cassador only does like 63 every 3 seconds.

I think what needs to be done is nerf their speed to 4. I outlined the reasons for that in the first post in this thread. As far as cav raids go, just leave a few back at home. It’s what Ottoman did for a long time. I suppose that was a weak spot I forgot to mention was patched part way out.

Is this the bizarro world version of the guy who kept demanding that Ottomans be OP?

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considering the avg civ needs 5 vills per tc for constant food production, then consider things such as walk time, the fact you get vills while aging, and the cheapness of inital techs its close to 5. 5 unraidable vills. and the age3 wagon isnt brought by a single civ outside of treaty by any civ. i think in teams haude sometimes used to cause it had not much else. 1tc wagon is not viable card so dunno why you are including this as its simply put a bad card and not a factor for any civ in supremacy. the comparison is to make a normal TC pay off, you require map, and food. otto does not have this constraint and infact thx to randomly better miltia even benefit from it. Why does usa go california about every single FI? because free vills good. Anmd then you add in Otto’s ability to dominate early game water or tradeline and its like wow, french germans spain are all designed to get minimal value out of multiple TCs are be extremely risky to try and boom for a reason and yet otto is here booming like 2 -2.75 TCs + others with strong army but without hunts. hmm

Deli are not the same as hussar, until you get 2x cards like i said which in a normal supremacy match takes time. until then, between less overkill and just enough speed to run/infinitely snare (which faster attack means many units cant easily break snare) for close to the same cost? hell dude, ill trade if they are “just” a huss. god imagine ports or spain with these.

The core issue with otto though isnt 1 or 2 or a few of these factors. Every civ deserves to have one “s tier” comp or eco spike etc. thats the core design of aoe3. its when otto has all of these, literally every unit they make is A tier or better (FFS their cav archer, designed to be subpar to balance abus, is even buffed late game cause a 0 micro meatshield needed to be better than most civs std goon ig). The current result is while i dont think otto is the “top” it just simply put will always be the most oppresive civ to anything not broken because it has 0 weakness, 0 counterplay other than their opponent playing better. and that is miserable to fight into and to most civs who dont have as many options, just unfair. And yet patch after patch, otto seems to get such small changes or even random buffs (again, why did otto get LoS cannon boost for free??) to a civ that hardcounters the majority of the playerbase? Its not balanced nor will be until some angle of otto is reigned in


They probably don’t even have to go too crazy with nerfs to make them reasonable.

Deli - Increase food cost by +10
Abus Gunner - Lower base attack slightly (maybe 34?)
Azap - Lower base range to 12 and have each upgrade give +2 range
Humbaraci - Lower range to 12

A few little nerfs like that and suddenly not every single option is completely oppressive.


Holy smack a player with 0 ladder experience is trying to theory craft.

You quoted the 1 tc wagon out of ignorance of a real convo then try to act like it proves me wrong, You save on tc 2 ways, not draining hunts (invaluable for an FI or FF) that cant be idled. This is the same low iq take of “feitorias is bad cause eco theory gives more” or ##### bad" the entire point is on top of 3 vill capitalism (more idless eco) your not punished for idle eco. Or aging quickly. Youre right if you afk youll find your eco flat. Real ladder otto gets the bonus of always making vills. Which has always been in game cept in RE TC was 600w so this was actual problem. Real 1v1 only a few civs can 3tc boom, none cept otto while FI or revolting (ports can if they idle).

cant math a free tc, refuse to even understand how deli work(how tf is cossack your reply?) Have you played a single russia v ottoman 1v1 in your life? What is the attack speed of a deli? Have you ever timed a snare break with explorer or cav? And you did the fake maths, go calculate how higher dps result in faster kills, faster retasks. Cossacks ffs man if russia masses cossacks otto messed up already.

Stick to uhlans since thats actually a bad matchup at times for otto. Since you clearly have 0 relevant ladder matchup for 1v1. Try to math those since you have 0 idea how to make a relevant scenario.

Cossacks is a great laugh tho. How to tell if a treaty player is speaking tho cause any semi decent otto player will deli semi the russia player. In actual game russia struggles to get to the point they can mass this. Ship siaphi or CA anyways. This aint treaty we talking about, nor teams. 1v1. Where yes deli are better value than just about any hand cav (AR, uhlans, raiders come to mind) early game. Backed by abus. Which 2x carded cav is not a relvant scenario for any supremecy civ in at least 2/3 of games. Because crates and shipments>upgrades. So yes having a better huss out the gate is a major advantage. If its fine in treaty or teams thats one thing, im talking about why does otto get a better scout age3, better 3 huss? Was that at all needed?

And you try cop out of the crux of the argument which end of day isnt 1 or 2 things. Its why otto needs all of this. Maybe get some better modeling or actual time instead of assumptions. Cause for over 1 year the community has dealt with ottoman and its beyond established at best this civ is noob ez mode a tier to s tier


And since I realized you wont get the reference
The 2x card is relating to deli are better or on par with huss until cav combat and hp are sent. Assuming otto, a tempo civ, will be able to get cav combat same time or before. So yes, 2x carded huss beat 1x carded deli.


No, I think the problem with abus is its cadence. I think I used to shoot slower. I think it was 3.5 seconds, and I think that would be ideal.

They only need to have life points subtracted, so that cavalry and skirmishes can kill them more easily.

The Ottoman economy is not broken. Maybe you don’t invest food to create villagers, but indirectly invest a lot of wood.

how is it anymore wood? 1k shipment, i guess some more for moque tech but thats cheaper than making vills pretty fast
and again, the eco is supposed to be slow. its when you can pay 1k wood and never invest res again all while having a great tempo, strong military, things get wonky. In the same way a civ like port or inca have to be careful with eco scaling being too good, a civ with both tempo and strong shipments and military thats been steadily dialed up any buff or no change to eco compounds.

A often propsed best solution would be 600w TC. doesn’t stop 1 tc 1 foundry houses types of builds, cost a bit more to chop, and stops 3tc from 1k wood after spamming military shipments and going industrial. Even better, since i would agree in a vacuum the otto eco is fine, make real changes to the military units. that should probably be the focus as any real eco nerf just makes otto even more railraoded into military shipments or die