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Ottoman Empire

Historical Overview Section

The first military unit of the Ottoman State was an army that was organized by Osman I from the tribesmen inhabiting western Anatolia in the late 13th century. The military system became an intricate organization with the advance of the Empire. The Ottoman military was a complex system of recruiting and fief-holding. The main corps of the Ottoman Army included:

  • Janissary: Infantry units recruited at a very young age from the non-Muslim ethnic groups of the Empire and raised as Muslim Turkish warriors, also forming the Sultan's household troops and bodyguard. Most of the recruits were Christian Balkans.
  • Sipahi: Elite cavalry knights who were granted tımars (fiefs) throughout the Empire's lands. Their alternative name was Tîmârlı Sipahi (Enfiefed Knight).
  • Akıncı: Frontline cavalry units of the Ottoman Army which raided and scouted the border areas and outposts. These units were known as ghazis before the establishment of the Ottoman army and contributed significantly to early Ottoman success against the Palaiologan army.
  • Mehterân: Ottoman Army Band which played martial tunes during military campaigns. The mehterân was usually associated with the Janissary corps.


The Ottoman army was once among the most advanced fighting forces in the world, being one of the first to employ muskets. The Ottoman cavalry used bows and short swords and often applied nomad tactics similar to those of the Mongol Empire, such as pretending to retreat while surrounding the enemy forces inside a crescent-shaped formation and then making the real attack.

Starting from the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 and the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, the Ottoman army quickly advanced towards central Europe, capturing Hungary with the Battle of Mohács in 1526 and twice laying siege to Vienna, in 1529 and 1683. However, the decline in the army's performance became evident from the mid 17th century and after the Great Turkish War, the Ottoman army's reputation as one of the most feared fighting forces in the world was never regained. The 18th century saw some limited success against Venice, but in the north the European-style Russian armies forced the Ottomans to concede land.


Using the army in ADLG

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

200AP Roll Call 2016
Brilliant
3 Janissaries Medium swordsmen bow Elite
2 Voynuks Heavy swordsmen 2hw ------
2 Spearmen Heavy spearmen ------
2 Akinji Horse Archers Light cavalry bow ------
2 Azabs Light infantry bow ----
1 Sipahis Medium cavalry bow Elite
1 Sipahis Heavy cavalry bow Elite
Ordinary Included
1 Sipahis Heavy cavalry bow Elite
2 Akinji Horse Archers Light cavalry bow ------
------- ----
1 Sipahis Medium cavalry bow Elite
Serb Included Ordinary Ally
3 Serbian Nobles Medium knight impetuous Elite
1 Serbians Bowmen ----
1 Serbian Hussars Light cavalry impact Elite


200 Points
Thomas Mastrieu' army from The Worlds 2016
Brilliant
4 sipahis Heavy cavalry bow Elite
4 akinjs Light cavalry bow ------
===
Ordinary, Unreliable
4 janissaires Medium swordsmen bow Elite
2 azabs Light infantry bow ------
===
Ordinary Serb Included Ally
2 Nobles Serbes Heavy Knight impetuous Elite
2 Nobles Serbes Heavy Knight impetuous
2 Hussards serbes Light cavalry impact Elite
1 Bowmen Mediocre


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