I think Military schools is a “trap” that people tend to fall into.
I personally find Ottomans being suprisingly strong, if I play them almost the same way I play Mongols.
With a few ottoman twist on it.
They are very strong early aggression when you play them this way.
People have a tendency to fall into the “standard civ” economy play and want to boom fast into castle.
Because Ottoman Feudal is lackluster. (Which I agree is, but the Sepahi do a great job).
Also when it comes to Vizier points, people tend to get easily blinded by it.
I for once start with 2 Monks in the opening instead. (depending how succesfull my sheep game opening is).
The moment hte game starts, i send 5 vills to stone to then immidietly build Military school. and then from there dispurse them to regular resources.
This has the function of acting almost like the mongol Ovoo double production.
Within almost the first 2 min of the game, you can already start applying spearmen pressiure and force response of the opponent.
With the 2 early monks, you can get some crazy healing out and have your Sepahi act like french knights, constantly sniping vills and run back to heal up.
This using Sepahi ability becomes much more viable.
Start towering their resources like you would as a mongol player.
And deny them stone and gold.
You’re econ will be infront of them.
Infact, Drongo made a video about this where he played against Demuslim, in a suprsingly even game! Despite their skill differences!
But here is things I PERSONALLY like doing as Ottomans:
Go for 2 monks, they double as a healing for your units applying pressiure, and moment you hit castle age, you can grab and secure 2 relics immidietly.
Super handy when playing against HRE.
Depending on the map, but if there is a backline neutral trade, I always go for traders as Ottoman and go for the Istanbul imperial counchilhall in order to get 2 extra vizier points. Which I use to Buff the trade.
The massive gold income you get from this, especially in team games, makes it far easier to mass produce siege than relying on free siege from the factory.
If trade isn’t easy to secure, then coing for the factory instead is a must.
Regardless, the goal is to get Siege on-point to do a Castle age timing push.
Again, you pretty much just play them as you would mongols.
Spearmen + Sepahi, into castle, Mangonels and Trebs with Maa/knights and Crossbow(if opponent goes into MAA)/Janissaries (If opponent goes into a lot of cav/knights)