The Ottomans' civilization ability is Great Turkish Bombard, which allows them to train siege units 50% faster and gives their siege units a +5 Combat Strength bonus against District defenses. In addition, cities the Ottomans conquer do not lose Population and receive +1 Amenity and +4 Loyalty per turn. Their unique unit is the Barbary Corsair (which replaces the Privateer), and their unique building is the Grand Bazaar (which replaces the Bank).
All of the Ottomans' assets are built around solely one purpose: war. They are adept at harassing enemies at sea as well as conquering on land, and also experts at keeping their newly gained citizens happy and loyal.
This is a rather strange leader ability, as it does not offer any particular empire-wide bonus like others; instead, Suleiman gives his empire two (well, sort of) unique units.
The Janissary is one of the most fearsome unique melee units in the game, thanks to its cheap cost, good Combat Strength and free starting Promotion.
The most outstanding feature of this unit is its appealing price tag. Standing at only half the cost of a normal Musketman, the Janissary is the cheapest unique unit in the game, if you only consider the cost ratio between the unit itself and the standard counterpart it replaces, similar to how the Grand Bazaar is also the cheapest unique building in the game. This 50% discount makes the Janissary so cheap that it becomes an anomaly, when it actually costs more to train a Man-At-Arms, the predecessor, than a Janissary. Therefore, for Suleiman, you should never train Men-At-Arms to take full advantage of your unique unit (more on this down below). Secondly, despite its cheap cost, the Janissary even has a Combat Strength edge over the Musketman, and a free Promotion when trained. On average, 5 Combat Strength difference results in 6-7 extra damage per attack, and the free Promotion applies even when an existing unit upgrades into a Janissary (in that case, the experience bar will be automatically filled and the newly created Janissary will have access to one next Promotion, if it already has some).
However, all of this power comes at a cost. Similar to training Settlers, any city founded by the Ottomans will lose 1 Population whenever they train a Janissary. This can be quite detrimental, but bypassing it is simple. There are two major options to minimize your losses when you want to train this unit:
- The first method is to invest some of your resources into early conquests. Although it is true that the Ottoman war machine is at its peak in the Renaissance Era, it is entirely possible to engage in conquest as early as the Classical Era and gain the conquered cities needed for Janissary production. By combining Ibrahim's innate ability of +20% Production towards units and the God of the Forge pantheon's +25%, the Ottomans can gain +45% Production towards all military units in the first two eras and +95% Production towards Catapults. With Ibrahim's Serasker title, Ottoman Catapults can gain an additional +10 Combat Strength bonus (which, in conjunction with the +5 from the Ottomans' Great Turkish Bombard ability, gives them a total Combat Strength bonus of +15) when attacking Districts, allowing them to destroy the defenses of even walled cities in the blink of an eye. This method should be considered against neighbors that play defensively and have potential to snowball if left alone, such as Korea, China, or Greece when led by Pericles. The April 2021 Update introduced the Trebuchet, a medieval siege unit that can act as a useful stepping stone between the Catapult and the Bombard, making the combat prowess of the Ottomans before their renaissance peak even more terrifying.
- The second method is to pre-train units and then upgrade them into Janissaries. If you spawn next to defensive powerhouse civilizations, or civilizations with their military power peaks in early eras, like Nubia, Vietnam or Gauls, you may want to play nice with them for the first few eras and wait for your true potential to unlock. The most cost efficient way to train Janissaries is to mass-produce Swordsmen and upgrade them when Gunpowder is unlocked. Again, not Men-At-Arms, but Swordsmen. As analyzed above, the Janissary is so cheap and even the Man-At-Arms is more expensive than them. Training Men-At-Arms when playing as Suleiman is wasteful and pointless, and it still costs you 10 more Gold to upgrade a Man-At-Arms into a Janissary even after you already spent 40 extra Production. The Swordsman is the way to go because one, they are cheaper (90 Production only), require Iron, which you don't need much of, and is affected by the God of the Forge pantheon if that is the one you pick. The bottleneck of training Janissaries lies neither in their potential Population cost (as it is easy to circumvent) nor in their Production cost (as it is 50% cheaper than the standard Musketman) but in Niter availability. Since Niter is unlocked very slightly sooner than Janissaries, you have little chance to stock up this resource beforehand, while more likely than not, you have a stockpile of Iron lying around. Due to the Janissaries' low cost, combined with Professional Army and Retinues, upgrading is cheap in terms of both Gold and Niter. By doing it this way, you can have your army of Janissaries without having to make early conquests when they are not the most favorable to you, or having to wait for Niter to start piling up so you can train Janissaries one by one and potentially missing your window of opportunity to use them. Remember to prioritize researching Military Engineering to locate where Niter is, try to stockpile it as much as you can, before beelining for Gunpowder.
Ibrahim the Grand Vizier
Suleiman also comes with a unique Governor, Ibrahim, who is an expert in both military and diplomacy. He only needs 3 turns to be established in a city. In war, he can speed up unit training or strengthen the defense of a city. He can also provide a large combat bonus when attacking cities. In peace, he is the only Governor that can be sent to other civilizations to help them in times of need, or to stop them from spreading their Loyalty pressure to flip your newly conquered cities. For whatever purpose, Ibrahim is a crucial piece in Suleiman's toolkit to make the Ottomans an absolute powerhouse in domination.
Great Turkish Bombard
This is the only bonus in the game that helps speed up the construction of siege units specifically, and it stacks with Ibrahim's first title. Since siege units are always the prime target to get focus fired by districts and enemy units in wartime, the Ottomans' get stronger and more siege units can overwhelm a city quickly. The most important aspect of this ability, however, is that all conquered cities get to keep all of its Population, even comes with a Loyalty and Amenity bonus, allowing them to swiftly become integrated into your empire. With intact high Population, Loyalty bonus and Ibrahim, it is impossible to flip back cities using Loyalty. To stop the Ottoman snowball, enemies may have to engage in a reconquest war against an empire at its peak, or lose an important part of their territory forever.
Following the changes to pillaging in Gathering Storm, constant coastal harassment is now a viable strategy that does not require a lot of Production investment to have a large standing army, and the Ottomans have just the perfect vessel for that. The Barbary Corsair thrives on being an incessant annoyance more than a direct combat unit, as it has everything you can ask for to fulfill its role (very much like the Ottoman Sipahi in Civilization V): cheaper with standard invisibility for naval raider units, pillaging without costing Movement, and most importantly, available before other civilizations unlock the standard Privateer to counter it. It is a rare unit that can actually benefit from the much undervalued Great Lighthouse Wonder and Great Admirals, since what it needs to do its job is not Combat Strength, but only Movement. This unit alone makes the Ottomans the bane of every civilization that has coastal tile improvements or enjoys bonuses from coastal districts and settlements, such as the English, Australians, or Dutch. Technically, Indonesia, thanks to the Kampungs and their civilization ability which incentivizes coastal constructions, is also a good target; however, they are equipped with Jong, which are available at around the same time, and their ability to instantly invoke a huge armada of Jong (thanks to Gitarja's ability) can be quite a problem if you decide to pick on them.
The best aspect of this unit lies in its brilliant timing. Similar to the Indonesian Jong, the Barbary Corsair is available in the Medieval Era, before the standard Privateer is unlocked for other civilizations. The only other two naval units in play at this time are the Galley and the Quadrireme, both are underwhelming military units with obsolete stats. Also, by being a Privateer replacement, the Barbary Corsair ignores zone of control, so catching this unit with just Galleys is nigh impossible. This allows them to have a very high degree of freedom to raid coastal cities for quite a while. Try to make the most of the Medieval Era before other civilizations gain access to Privateers - combined with policy cards like Raid and Total War, you will be rewarded with a constant income of Faith, Gold and healing to sustain through any damage thrown back your way. You can combine this with the Grand Master's Chapel for even more Faith from raiding, and then use this Faith to purchase military units like the Janissaries or Bombards next era, which happens to be the peak of Ottoman power.
Overall, the Barbary Corsair is in a relatively weird place in the Ottoman arsenal, considering that the Ottomans is a land domination civilization, similar to what Dromons are to Byzantium. However, the main difference between the Barbary Corsair and the Dromon is that the Dromon is a naval domination vessel with its extra Range and Combat Strength while the Barbary Corsair is a support unit whose main role is to bring back as much Gold and Faith as it can to enable other more significant Ottoman strengths. This means while both Byzantium and Ottomans are land domination civilizations, the Barbary Corsair is much more likely to be able to contribute meaningfully on a land map than the Dromon.
Anything a warmonger wants, the Grand Bazaar offers. With faster resource accumulation and an extra Amenity per Luxury resource at a cheaper cost than a regular Bank, the Grand Bazaar adds more fuel to the conquest machine of the Ottomans. Most importantly, this building is available at just the right time to increase Niter accumulation for the Janissaries and Bombards, bringing the Ottoman army into its Renaissance peak.
In details, the Grand Bazaar boosts resource accumulation speed based on the level of Strategic Resource diversity in the city. For example, if a city has 3 sources Niter improved, all mines will receive only +1 resource per turn faster, since the level of Strategic Resource diversity is 1. If later you improve one Oil source with an Oil Well, all improved Niter and Oil sources will accumulate +2 resource per turn faster, regardless of the number of Mines and Oil Wells present. Similarly, extra Amenities from Luxury Resources count the number of Luxury types, not the actual number of improvements. Resources, Strategic or Luxury, that are outside the 3-tile workable range or placed under a District count towards diversity and benefit from this building as if they were improved with their respective improvements.
Overall, this is an incredible unique building, especially when you consider how underwhelming the Bank is compared to other tier 2 buildings in other Districts. The construction of the regular Bank is often delayed until much later in the game since the building is neither strong or important, but the Ottomans should definitely put more emphasis on their Grand Bazaar. And the best thing about the Grand Bazaar is that it is 70 Production cheaper than the standard Bank. Standing at approximately three quarters of the Production cost of the Bank, the Grand Bazaar represents the largest discount of all unique buildings in the game.
A Domination Victory is the Ottomans' best option. They'll be at their strongest during the Renaissance Era, though their civilization ability will continue to benefit them as they research Steel and Guidance Systems and unlock more advanced siege units.
For more than six centuries, the Ottoman Empire ruled the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, coming to rule a massive empire that stretched from Persia to the borders of Hungary and Poland, through the Middle East and across Northern Africa. Rising into power in a vacuum left behind by the Mongol invasions and the sweep of the Black Death, the Ottomans remained an empire until the aftermath of the first World War. During that time they were central to the political events in Europe and the Near East, ruling a fractious, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious empire.
The Ottoman empire was founded by Islamic warriors, fighting in the service of Seljuk Persians against the Byzantines. These semi-nomadic people from Central Asia settled in Anatolia, and after the Mongol Empire had swept aside the Seljuks, Osman I founded the Ottoman dynasty, originally ruling a small patch of Anatolia around Bursa. It was a precarious position, bordered by Turkmen rulers on one side and the still-formidable Byzantines on the other. But Central Asia was in a state of political and cultural flux as a result of the Mongol invasions, and the Ottomans were successful in attracting people willing to fight for an expansion of their territory at the expense of the Byzantines.
The Ottomans chipped away at Byzantine-held territories in the Balkans and modern-day Turkey. Likewise they were able to make military and political gains at the expense of rival Islamic powers, like the Seljuks and Turkmen, coming to rule most of Europe south of the Danube. Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, marking the end of the Byzantines and the last link to the Roman Empire. Sultans Selim I and Suleiman I brought the empire to its height of territorial dominance, adding Egypt, the Levant, North Africa, Mesopotamia, and Europe as far as Hungary, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia.
Suleiman's reign is seen as the high water mark for the Ottoman Empire, a golden age marked by military conquest, political and legal reform, monumental construction, and patronage of the arts and crafts. Life in the Ottoman Empire was governed through a complex intermix of secular codes, Islamic jurisprudence, and regional custom, and social ranks and hierarchies. The Janissary soldiers are an illustrative example of this mix of practices. Originally these were Christian-born boys who were consigned to the Ottoman state as tax or tribute, converted to Islam and raised in the strict, martial life of a soldier. Janissary life was governed by strict laws and discipline. They were forbidden to marry or own significant property, and were intensely loyal and considered the elite infantry of the empire.
The Ottoman empire was an integral part of the European political calculus of wars and alliances for centuries, sometimes allying with, and sometimes fighting against the various nations. Even for nations that did not actively fear Ottoman invasion, there was a healthy respect for the military and economic power of the empire. For most of the Renaissance and early Industrial period, there was a simmering conflict between the Islamic Ottomans and the Christian Europeans, with both sides choosing to emphasize the religious difference during times of conflict, while downplaying the difference during eras of peace.
A period of slow decline followed the reign of Suleiman, as subsequent Sultans were unable to engage as effectively with the business of directly administering as sovereign. Military reversals followed, like the naval defeat at Lepanto in 1571. Still, the empire proved resilient enough to persist for centuries, and Ottoman armies lay siege to Vienna multiple times, with the last of these, in 1683, representing the last time Europe was seriously threatened by the empire's expansion.
World War I marked the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans backed the Central Powers against the Entente, which proved disastrous for the nation. Ancient institutions had not reformed sufficiently to allow for political recovery. Rising Turkish nationalism and movements for independence throughout the empire splintered it further. The Young Turks, under Mustafa Kemal, created a Turkish republic in 1920, with control of the remaining Ottoman territories being divided amongst the victors.
The Ottoman Empire is remarkable for many qualities: Its military conquests, its successful unification of much of the Islamic world under a single political entity, and the qualities of its arts and architecture. Rising as it did from the plague- and invasion-shattered world at the crossroads of three continents, its institutions were durable and flexible to face centuries of challenges.
- Main article: Ottoman cities (Civ6)
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* The name "Ichiro" appears twice in the XML files.
- The Ottoman civilization's symbol is three crescent moons, likely derived from the star and crescent that often appeared on the Ottoman Empire's flags.
- The Ottoman civilization ability references the siege cannon used in the Dardanelles Operation in 1807.
Win a game as Suleiman The Magnificent
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