Turks/Strategic Overview

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Faction Overview Strategic Overview History
  • Strengths: Powerful late-game army, good gunpowder units, and powerful middle- to late-era cavalry.
  • Weaknesses: Difficult startup, and lack of food production upgrades means that early growth is difficult to achieve, poor late-game melee infantry.

In Rise of Kings, the national bonuses of the Turks mirror well their history and reputation for migration and conquest. Indeed, Turkish unique units are relatively more powerful if not the best ones throughout all the 24 factions of Rise of Kings. Their mid- to late-game heavy cavalry sipahi line are slightly cheaper and bear long lances that allow them to execute a ranged attack. In the late game, not only do they possess the full complement of "modern" cavalry units, they also possess two potent gunpowder units: the Kapykulu Marksmen, who are the forerunners of the janissary corps; and the Ocak Cannon, a powerful culverin-type capable being massed in large numbers. Additionally, their cavalry archers will upgrade for free, so long as the correct prerequisite techs were researched. Like in real life, Turkish cavalry is strong, and doesn't need Centralisation in order to be fully available. Their infantry however is another story — in the Imperial Era, the only upgrade you will get will be Armoured Militia, Billmen and Crossbow Infantry, but this isn't much of a problem given how strong Turkey's cavalry can be. The Turkish navy is a mixed bag of blessings: on one hand their best light ship, the Fusta, is very weak, but on the other hand it is cheap and also deals more damage than European War Galleys. Apparently, the only advantage the Turks might have at sea is strength in numbers.

This powerful war machine, however, might pale in comparison compared to what the Turks are capable of: expansion and colonisation. This they do very well. Unlike other factions such as the Chinese (which get to build large cities instead of small ones) or the Magyar and Russians (who have extra capacity for more cities), Turkic cities can be built just about anywhere, and your borders remain invisble to all other players. This can be used well to your advantage: being able to forward build away from your own cities means that you can build just about anywhere. If you had sufficient food and wood, you could easily build cities in strategic areas to act as choke points to hold back your own opponents' expansion. Less ground covered means fewer cities, and probably less food and wealth to go by as well. Conversely, you can play this faction like the English, by colonising prime areas with plenty of resources or strategic value!

However, all this power comes at a price: the Turks are unable to build farms, and can only collect food by creating more citizens, scouts or cavalry units. Thus, the only hope for the Turkic player might be to create massive armies and populations in order to maintain a steady stream of food to fuel the creation of cities (and ultimately, armies). This might well be done through creating fishing boats (on water maps), or possibly via the creation of merchants to procure rare resources, as well as scouts to search for food like the Spanish do. That one part might be important, as scouts not only collect more resources from ruins, but can also generate food for you in sufficiently huge numbers. The other side of a Turkic strategy would also perhaps be to either demand food from other players, trade with them or possibly even raid them outright for resources and to cut them down to size, before they eventually outpace you economically and begin to overwhelm you.

Ghazni sancak.png

Faction summary[edit]

  • Expansive civ with an unorthodox economy, but a powerful army.
  • Population Boom — Since the only way you are going to generate food is by creating and keeping alive as many citizens. You would be well advised to ensure that anti-rush defences are up, and to use your cavalry wisely.
  • The Invisible Hand — Build your own merchants and caravans to improve trade while taking apart your opponents' own to dirsupt trade and line your pockets with your cavalry archers. Accompany them with a duke patriot unit to protect them from attrition and gather resources from whatever units you destroy.
  • Real Estate Boom — One of the key bonuses of the Turks is the ability to build anywhere unclaimed by another faction. Use this ability to the fullest: cities can be built near economically strategic regions (characterised by access to ample timber and metal). Likewise, forts and cities can be built near your opponents to keep them from expanding further into your territory.
  • Timarli — While you are able to generate food from citizens, scouts and cavalrymen, it is wiser to dump your resources into horse archers, scouts and heavy cavalry. This is because these units produce food while not requiring food themselves to be created. Since they are fast and can be used to great effect, you can keep your cavalry out of harm's reach. That way your cavalry will remain intact and whole enough to continue regurgitating food back into your stockpile, while being mobile enough to take apart enemy units. This food can then be reinvested into city building or villagers to keep your mines and timber posts fully staffed for maximum production.
  • Unmedical Profession — Since you lack access to the health series of research (given that you are unable to build granaries) alternative technologies and wonder effects that contribute to faster unit production must be made a top priority.
  • Soldiers of Fortunes — Food is a costly business, so unless you had created many villagers, mercenaries can be called upon to replace light and heavy infantrymen. Your unique gunpowder unit costs both wealth and knowledge, however, thus you might need to be wary over a merc-intensive game, or a late game involving more solid troops.
  • Just Friends — The best allies are those which can cover your disadvantages. For instance, Poland, Venice and Andalus have food bonus abilities, making them potential partners. Equally important are those who can pull off a good rush such as the Saracens or the Swedes, as you can use them to expand your empire while they use their cheap infantry to take out the foe. The Spanish are also good choices, as their ability to uncloak the map at the beginning means that you would have no problems picking good areas to place your cities, making for a faster economy.

Best age(s):[edit]

Imperial. But the problem is how to get there, especially if rare resources and fish are not available.


Rebel and barbarian factions such as the Celts sport the exact same national bonuses as the Turks.

Strategic Overview
Ghazni sancak.png
Basic gameplay Rise of Chivalry Renovatio Europam