Part 24: The Ottomans Part 1: 1399-1423The Ottomans Part 1: 1399-1423
With The Ottomans, we will take a look at how exactly the westernization process works. Every nation in the game belongs to a specific technology group. Every nation I've demonstrated up to this point has been in the Western tech group, which is the best one. The Western group researches technologies fastest and has the best units at late tech levels. Generally, the further east you go from Europe, the worse the tech groups will get until you hit rock bottom in the New World. Non-western units are equal or even better at lower levels, but there simply aren't any competitive non-western units once tech levels get higher.
As the Ottomans, we are in the Ottoman tech group. Our research efficiency is 80%, as opposed to the western tech group's 100% efficiency.
We do get this benefit, though. Our technology levels all begin at 5. The Muslim and Ottoman tech groups get a small leg up on other tech groups with this bonus.
Our starting unit types are both quite good as well.
Our sliders are all somewhere in the middle. They could be much, much worse. In order to westernize, we're required to be centralized and innovative, so I begin with a slider move towards centralization. Our starting army is strong enough to destroy any rebels that a centralization slider move might create. We begin with the idea 'National Conscripts', but I change it to 'Military Drill' right off the bat. That was probably a mistake and I should have waited for us to gain a little stability first, because at -3 stability we can't declare war. There was a 6 star artist advisor for hire, so I scoop him up to help our stability increase more quickly.
The westernization process begins with a national decision. We can't do this yet, though. Aside from the required slider positions, stability, and ruler administrative ability requirements that we don't meet, we also need to border a western tech group country and be a total of 20 levels behind them in technology. This means if all of our technologies were 14 and all of a bordering western country's technologies were 19 or higher, we'd meet that requirement. You might notice that we have a mission to gain a core on Thrace, too.
Conquering Thrace would give us Constantinople, the highest tax base province in the region. Its highly recommended to wait until you get this mission to declare war on Byzantium so you can get the free core. Also, if you start as Byzantium in 1399 you might want to click on the Ottomans to see if they have this mission. It'd probably be worth restarting if they do.
There are many minor powers in the region which own provinces we have cores on. It'd be worth it to conquer them as soon as possible to consolidate our strength while things are still simple. Our main army fights off some pretender rebels that rose up due to the move towards centralization while we wait for our stability to increase.
Once we gain some stability, its time to go on the warpath. All of these nations can be handled at once with The Ottomans' starting armies. Candar and Byzantium are already distracted by a war with one another.
The siege of Constantinople takes over a year, but its carried out in peace with our navy blocking any troop movements across the straits. The siege force here boards our fleet and heads to the Byzantine stronghold of Morea in Greece next.
In Asia Minor, things are a bit more hectic. The Timurids add an additional level of danger to troop movements around here. You can never be sure when another 20 regiments of steppe ponies will come flying out of Central Asia.
Candar falls, and since we have cores on all of their territory we can fully annex them with no infamy gain.
The small Greek holdout of Trebizond is invaded and fully annexed while we have some momentum. We don't have a core on them, but it may be useful to release them as a vassal state to block us off from hordes at some point.
Ramazan holds onto core provinces of ours as well. They come under attack after Trebizond. The Mamluks do us a great favor and keep the Timurids occupied with their own large armies.
Wallachia entered the war to save Byzantium, but they fall to allied armies from our vassal states of Bosnia and Serbia. Wallachia joins them and becomes another vassal on our eastern fringes.
Byzantium is annexed, and we gain a core on Thrace and a new province in southern Greece for minimal infamy gain.
Our next mission is to conquer all of southern Greece. Once we do so, we would gain cores on each of the three territories. Achaea is a minor power, but they are allied with and guaranteed by several powerful nations. Venice controls Athens, and attacking them may draw retribution from Castille as defenders of the Catholic faith. We'll finish our other conquests before we come back to this.
With Thrace in our hands, we now have significant control over all shipping coming in and out of the Black Sea. This Bosphorus Sound Toll triggered modifier gives us the equivalent of an extra marketplace and a half in every single city. This increase to trade value directly benefits our production income.
Ramazan falls, and we regain two more cored provinces.
I really want to gain Erserum for our nation, but its a slow process for us to seize a horde province. Our colonist generation rate is naturally zero, and only boosted by the bonus you get for bordering a horde nation. Our main army continues to play cat and mouse with Timurid armies here, with the occasional pile of Mamluk armies marching up and chasing them off as well.
Naples is worried by our rise in power and uses their papal influence to have a Crusade declared against us. This gives every Catholic nation a very good CB against us.
Denmark and Norway jump at the opportunity, but it appears that no other nations are interested in joining their cause.
Finally, our colonists settle enough of Erserum for the province to come under our control. The rest of the Timurid horde remains blocked off from us by a sizable Mamluk presence.
Norway's crusade against us was clearly ceremonial, and after seeing no trace of them for over a year, we call a white peace.
Qara Koyunlu fully conquers Georgia and then sets their sights on us. Their armies can't hold a candle to the might of the Timurids though, and our troops are able to occupy the majority of their territory within a few months.
They are forced to pay us tribute, which means that as soon as the truce period is over they will declare war on us once again. Until then, we get a few years of peace and some welcome spare change.
Missionaries are sent to Orthodox provinces to convert them to the Sunni faith. We start with the highest tax provinces. Even though Thrace has a a huge tax base, we don't need to send a missionary there. We have a national decision available to us which moves our capital to Thrace and instantly converts it. While the Ottomans can be made to be pretty tolerant of other religions in general, you can't undo the negative stability cost effect that their Jizya tax has on non-Islamic provinces. It'll be important to have as low stability costs as possible for westernization, so we need to convert.
Castille declares a holy war against us with their ally Scotland. Going toe to toe with the Castillian navy isn't something I want to do yet, so I park out navy back in port to protect it.
The threat of a counterattack by Castille was the main reason I hesitated to invade Venice and Achaea for their Greek holdings. With that card already played against us, we may as well make our move. Milan, Modena, and Parma join in the war to aid our new enemies.
Castille lands a reasonably large force in Greece, but it is intercepted by a large combined force of allied troops and chased through the countryside until completely annihilated.
Achaea falls first, then Venice gives in and cedes the provinces we have cores on. Naples is invaded and forced to cede the province of Jaina as well. This puts the majority of Greece minus surrounding islands under our direct control. With our mission complete, we gain another:
The crusader stronghold of Rhodes is to fall. They shouldn't offer much direct resistance, but the island is well fortified and will stand up to siege for some time.
Time passes, Rhodes falls to The Ottomans, and Castille loses their willingness to continue to the fight.
With a well deserved period of peace at hand, we're able to enact the decision to adopt an imperial administration. Empire is a huge upgrade to the despotic monarchy that we had before. More morale for our troops, free holy war CBs against heathen neighbors, and less time before policy slider movements. The faster policy slider changes in particular will be useful in getting prepared for westernization.
Time passes, and Qara Koyunlu forgets the lessons it learned in the last war against us. Not only that, but they are in no position to harm us whatsoever due to a massive Georgian nationalist revolt.
The Timurids appear at our borders once again as well. The Mamluks had kept them contained for a time, but they've broken out of their cage after recapturing the province of Van.
The Georgian revolution is successful. Georgia will act as a useful buffer between the hordes and ourselves.
At Land Tech 6 we get access to a new infantry unit type that is arguably better than the Galloglaigh infantry that western countries get at Land Tech 11. This difference in quality will not continue, though. By Land Tech 18, western infantry will be equal to or slightly better than ours. We likely won't be ahead in tech levels by then, either.
We formalize our good relations with the Mamluks just before the 1420s. We've fought side by side against the Timurids for some time, so I thought an alliance would be appropriate.
Peace is made with the Timurids, and they are forced to release one of their vassal states just to spite them.
Venice invades us in a an attempt to reclaim their lost territory, but things just simply don't go their way. They've amassed a somewhat large navy, but our slightly superior numbers and slightly superior admiral cause us to come out on top. Each engagement with the Venetian fleet just keeps putting more ships under our banner as we keep capturing them.
Venice suffers another terrible defeat and is forced to surrender the islands of Naxos and Corfu.
The Ottoman Empire in 1423.
England, Scotland, and Ireland work together to create some oddly normal looking borders.
Morocco struggles with Algiers for dominion over the North African coast.
Bavaria grows to prominence in the middle of the HRE.
Georgia crumbles before the Golden Horde.
The World in 1423