The Turks

By dsmi1.

I write this as a guide for new and inexperienced players mostly. Better players than myself may learn nothing which is fine. The reason I enjoy playing the Turks is because their unit selection appeals to me. Their cavalry can be both hardy and swift. Their infantry does a respectable job, but is by no means spectacular. Their ranged units can pack a punch with bow / gun and sword. And finally the mercenaries for a typical online battle provide me with one of my favourite units, the Alan Light cavalry.

I tend to find myself in mostly is 10 - 15k florins High period games. This article is based on Normal Unit scale. I guess a lot of players are after a nice smaller scale battle that their computers can handle, myself included. The strategy can be adapted to Late era, where the Janissary Musketeers can really dominate. More cavalry can be included in this one, but a limit of 8 is a rule sometimes encountered in order to stop unit spam. Especially for Eastern Europe factions etc. who can field many types of missile cavalry.

A typical setup for a 10k game is as follows:

  • 1 General
  • 4 Sipahis
  • 3 Alan Light Cavalry
  • 4 Dismounted Lancers
  • 2 Spear Militia
  • 2 Naffatun

To break this down further, a general I feel is vital. A troop with 21 men with 2 hitpoints really pays for itself if used properly. He is there to boost morale, stop routing units and be a main focus for your enemy to target which really is a bonus. If your opponent is too general concious they lose sight of the big picture. I have lost battles trying in vain to remove their general hoping for a quick victory, only to seal one for my opponent.

The four units of Sipahis are really flexible. Unboosted stats of 9 Attack, 15 Defense, 3 Charge, 8 Missile (9,15,3,8) are quite good. Their defensive abilities really set them apart from Turkomans or other missile units. The attack rating makes them handy once swords cross. I like to use them to bait enemy cavalry, whittle a few numbers down and move away. You can get chased by elite units such as Templars containing 40 men, and soon enough wheel around and crash into their depleted numbers.

The Alan light horse really allow you to maximise your spending. They are mere 550 florins each, which is an absolute steal. Their stats are great (11,13,5) I really find the term Light misleading for anyone who would place them with other lesser cavalry. They more than hold their own in a stoush, and for their price they are unmatched on horseback I feel, ut I am heavily biased because I use them so often. I wouldn't be surprised if their price was upped slightly in the future.

4 Dismounted Lancers form the backbone of your line. For their price you can do better with other factions, but you play the cards in your deck. Their stats are handy, (7,14,3) with a bonus against cavalry. I find they do little when you go on the attack, which makes this strategy tough because I tend to attack rather than defend. I get them over Milita because of a morale bonus, 9 to 3. You need a unit that can hold for a while to really wear down your opponent.

The two spears are really only thrown to boost your line and provide some cover to allow the Naffatuns to get around to flank. The only advantage is they are relatively cheap. If you are a capable archer commander some Turkish Archers or Ottomans depending on the limit might be a better choice. It is just my opinion that the missile cavalry give me enough firepower to get the job done.

Naffatun! Love them. 380 florins a go is excellent in my opinion. Get two, or ten. Two is probably enough though. Use them well and you can raise your chances of winning considerably. Don't and you have wasted 760 florins. 23 Armour Piercing (AP) missile attack is unreal. Get them around the side, throw the bombs and create havoc. They devastate enemy morale too. If your opponent lets them go unchecked you can tear the main line up quick smart. I couldn't say enough good things about Naffatun, and their price is amazing. If you cant afford your Hashishim special units, go for some Naffatun!

The Initial Formation.

Now for deployment. Some people like to keep it simple, while others construct elaborate formations that take forever to make. I am for the simple method. This isn't aimed at experts because I am not one.

The two Sipahis on either wing is fairly standard. I put a unit of Alan with each group to allow them to pack some punch as a group if attacked. If they split their mounted force to attack both you should be able to manoeuvre away, or possibly win the engagement if skirmish mode is off. If they attack en-masse then if you cannot withdraw, it is good time to strike their line. The general I normally keep near the troops for morale, and that critical moment of truth in the battle. With him and the third Alan unit, they can crash into engaged cavalry if they caught yours on the wings. In this strategy winning the cavalry battle is of utmost importance as you have no grounded archers using this build.

Ideally you want your Sipahis to run around, shooting up enemies for as long as possible. Keep them away from footed archers, they will get torn up. Picking off firstly enemy horses, and secondly any infantry that prove too tough for yours.

What can make this work is giving your opponent too much to think about at once. A recent battle that gave me much delight was when the lines met, and my men were holding bravely, but losing slightly. The cavalry battle was well underway and could have gone either way. My general was floating right when a small hole in the lines was open, I spotted some longbowmen in a direct line firing without retribution. In that moment I ordered my most important unit through the line, got up the perfect charge and smashed into the ranged units. I was then free to engage the enemies rear, although I wasn't given the chance. A pre-emptive gg was called because of the devastation I was about to embark on unchecked in his territory.

So you don't want them to enact set plans, you need to take the offensive with your Sipahis and make them play to your style. Throw them to Plan B. Better players will know how to deal with you, but with practise you can get past them too.

Please leave comments, abuse, anything, would love to hear what people think. Please more people contribute anything, I would be lying if I said I was even at an intermediate level of skill with this game, but I hope people will start to write some articles and get things moving.