Containing the Ottomans



  • Hello everybody,

    I started playing A&A along with a couple of friends about two years ago and we only meet to play about three or four times a year so while we’re not complete noobs we probably still have a lot to learn.That said, I could really use some advice concerning the Ottoman Empire.

    Reading through the posts, many of you seem able to contain the Ottomans with apparent ease. In the six games I’ve played so far (5 live and one test game) the Ottomans have actually been quite strong. Sure, they have a difficult time in the first three turns or so, but after they’ve absorbed Britain’s initial strike they’re able to push them back. In the last two games I played, the Ottomans had small but dangerous armies in Africa and Persia by turn 5 or 6 even though Bombay built four units a turn.

    The Ottomans usually send their units from Constantinople and the ones they get from Bulgaria into Russia as a clean up crew and spend the rest of the game sending units towards India and Egypt.

    Meanwhile, Britain usually activates Saudi Arabia with 2 units from India and takes Trans Jordan with the troops from Egypt. After that it shuttles four units per turn to Egypt or Saudia Arabia. But while that just doesn’t seem to be enough to contain the Ottomans it is enough to compromise Britain’s ability to sustain a meaningful presence in Belgium/Picardy and keep up with a German player who buys a Battleship every turn.

    An American landing in Egpyt or Greece can slow the Ottomans down, but even that seems to be a classic case of too little too late.

    What would you guys suggest the Allies do?

    (Edit: corrected a few typos.)



  • Well, the only advice I have is Britain spending more in India.  You could take Persia and then instead of transporting 4 units/turn you could move as many units as you can buy in India to Persia and threaten the ottomans.

    I too, have trouble containing the ottomans.  Britain could also build a fighter every couple of turns to gain and keep air supremacy.  Essentially though, once Russia is relegated to Revolution or either defeated/holed up in Moscow- only Britain can realistically fight the ottomans.

    When the US gets involved, they can set up a shuck from the US to French Morocco to Rome (or Greece/Albania.  If the US puts troops in Greece every turn, the ottomans would have to defend their capital.  The other thing is your two transports in India could threaten Smyrna- would be a good combo of US landing troops in Greece and British troops in Smyrna (or land in Jordan only to move them to Constantinople to reinforce any Americans there).

    This is of course if the US can afford to not defend Rome and/or France.  Depends on how the war is going.


  • Customizer

    Persia is the key. Through there you can send a large army and constantly back it up from India. Don’t rely on the transports to defend Arabia; in any case these should be employed reinforcing Italy and threatening the Balkans.

    You should have sunk the Turkish cruisers as soon as possible, forcing them to defend their entire coastline against AA.



  • Only problem being from India/Persia you cannot stop Ottomans from going to Egypt.



  • What i did as russia was take mesopotamia in the first turn. In that game the turks never recovered, as britain took jordan, persia and arabia and brought african troops into the middle east. Russia took back their units a round or two later, because the damage was already done.
    Not only did it cost a couple of turk nits, it also costs them three ipc! And ipc are relatively worth a lot more in this version (without no) so that is like twenty percent of turkish income.



  • Thanks for all the good ideas!

    I wasn’t too sure about activating Persia, because the one time I saw it done it also opened India to counter attack by Austrian en German Forces that survived the war against Russia. Britain had to spend an awful lot of money in India to deal with them and the Ottomans. The CP’s won that game btw.

    But a first turn Russian assault on Mesopotamia followed by a British push through Persia would really crank the pressure up on the Ottomans. I’ll definitely try that.

    I also like the idea of threatening and Amphibious Assualt, although I doubt I’ll ever actually go for it unless the door is left (wide) open. With only two transports the danger of losing a ship to mines or a few units to an artillery strike is just too great.



  • The sea zone that is adjacent to Smyrna doesn’t have any mines, iirc.



  • I like Russia taking out Mesopotamia as well.  UK can clean up any survivors and reinforce the defense.



  • Buy a plane as India. The Ottomans are probably making +6 (Bulgaria/Sevestolpol) and maybe +1 more from Arabia. At barely 22 IPCs they can’t afford to match that. After the start of turn 4 a couple of tanks will devastate them. Completely negating 2 of the probable 5 units that the Ottoman’s can produce a turn will certainly swing things back in your favor easily.

    Contesting Mesopotamia really wrecks their economy. Because of the horrible border design of Ottoman territories your supply line can only go one way: to Smyrna to resupply Trans-Jordan or Ankara towards India. You can’t just send them all to a central territory and then split them up as you need them.

    So as UK because of your transports you can shuck units to Trans-Jordan if they’re building up forces there and then devote the rest of your forces to Mesopotamia. Because the Ottomans can only realistically build a few units a turn you can easily match and contain them or overwhelm them if you want to spend even more. And by Turn 3/4 the UK is making almost 40 a turn after cleaning up Africa. They can absolutely afford to spend extra in India to smash the Turks.

    In my opinion the Trans-Jordan hit and activating Arabia turn 1 is too good. Combine that with an assault on Persia/Mesopotamia and the Ottoman empire absolutely needs outside help to survive. Trans-Jordan needs at least 2 more units starting in it to make it still achievable but less of a gimme.

    As it is now, it’s a 100% turn 1. You have to do it because it is too good not to. Not doing it would be like France not activating Portugal on their first turn. There is no real threat of a counter-attack and you get 7 IPCs worth of free units to replace any you lost assaulting TJ.



  • I’ve been contemplating a Dreadnought for Russia on turn 1, would that be better served being placed in the Baltic to harrass newly built German ships, or would it be better beafing up the Black Seas fleet to kill off the Ottoman cruisers for sure? Obviously I would be going with a Russian attack into Mesopotamia as an opening wave for the British.



  • I had a little test game to try out all of your ideas. Thanks again for the advice.

    Russia took Mesopotamia. That was so ridiculously easy I can’t believe I never tried it before. The Brits spent everything in India (the G1 naval assault on the home fleet was so succesful that even a full naval buy from the Brits was at risk of being sunk next turn) then moved into Persia, activated Arabia and took Trans-Jordan.

    After that it all went down the way Zane predicted it would.

    @Darth - If you want to build a Russian battleship, though I’m not you should, I’d definately put it into the Baltic. The Russian Black Sea fleet isn’t always abel to destroy the Ottoman fleet, but you can reasonably expect it to sink at leats one cruiser. There’s little the Ottomans can do with that, and if you really want to, the British are more than able to clear it.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    @DarthShizNit:

    I’ve been contemplating a Dreadnought for Russia on turn 1, would that be better served being placed in the Baltic to harrass newly built German ships, or would it be better beafing up the Black Seas fleet to kill off the Ottoman cruisers for sure? Obviously I would be going with a Russian attack into Mesopotamia as an opening wave for the British.

    Hi DarthShizNit. I would deter you from buying in the Baltic as my friend did that and  he regretted the expense. After Moscow fell(no RR) both Dreadnoughts sat in starting SZ until the end of the game.
    If you are sure you want one, I would suggest it be placed in the Black Sea.
    Again, I am not sure if it is needed as UK and France should be able to see off those two Turkish Cruisers.
    Enjoy your game.



  • I wouldn’t buy a BB w/Russia either, the allies already have naval superiority in this game. If the CP are buying a lot of boats then it’s England/France that need to deal with it. I would hate to think that buying a battleship (instead of ground units) ends up allowing them to put you into revolution, and any Russian ships would be removed.



  • So interesting game I’m playing right now (well not right now, but started yesterday to be continued later today)…
    Turns 1-3 are pretty standard.  In particular, the UK focuses on rebuilding its fleet and begins the alternating Picardy/Belgium drops with Karelia.
    On turn 4, however, both the UK, and the US now in the war, shift heavily to taking out the Ottomans.  Previously the UK was just playing tag in the middle east, and finishing up the Germans in Africa.  Now, for the last several turns, most of the UK income has gone into Inida.  Meanwhile, the US ignored Italy, and set up the shuck shuck going from Canada to Spanish Morroco to Egypt.

    On the downside, for the Allies, Italy is going to fall in next 2-3 turns to AH.

    On the plus side, the Ottomans have a single troop (contesting a large British stack with air & tanks) in Messopatamia and a single troop (contesting a large American stack, air but no tanks) in Trans-Jordan.  Other than Bulgaria (and sometimes Arabia) the Ottomans have advanced nowhere else on the board.  (They sent some troops into Russia early on, but those troops have since fallen.)  They’re reinforcements are less than what the British build each turn, and about on par with what the Americans build.  The only plausible scenario for their survival is Germany disengaging from the Russian fight, and heading South to bail them out, which of course would bail Russia out, while at the same time France is beginning to gain ground in the West.

    This is a new game, I’m sure both sides did not play this strategy optimally.  But the basic Allied strategy of holding fast turns 1-3, then hitting the Ottomans hard with the Anglo-Saxon armies from both sides seems very interesting to me.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.



  • We have seen the UK spend all its income in India for a round or two in the early going (one guy in our group in particular). Those units can either be sent to Russia to bail them out (along with units into Karalia via transport from England), or make the Turks life miserable as you have said. It gets to a point to where you think should the UK be able to spend that much in India?



  • The more UK spends in India, the less it spends on the Western front. If Britain is spending its entire economy (!) for two turns (!) in India, Germany can -and should!- make them pay.

    @WILD:

    We have seen the UK spend all its income in India for a round or two in the early going (one guy in our group in particular). Those units can either be sent to Russia to bail them out (along with units into Karalia via transport from England), or make the Turks life miserable as you have said. It gets to a point to where you think should the UK be able to spend that much in India?



  • That’s funny you say that, because in one of the games UK put very little in France, and the Germans still had a very difficult time 1 vs 1 against the French (Austria had its hands full w/Russia & Italy). Paris was under siege, but they can still drop units when it’s contested (the French have too many supplemental territories to make up their income). Then the UK & US come to the rescue. Even if Germany manages to take Paris, it is hard to defend it when your units need to come from Berlin (or Vienna) as the other allies bulk up on the French coast.


  • Customizer

    It takes so long for new German units to reach the front that the UK will be able to know just when they will arrive and adjust its builds accordingly. The UK must place its units just where it will hurt the CPs the most: this is the entire key to an Allied victory.



  • @ghr2:

    I like Russia taking out Mesopotamia as well.  UK can clean up any survivors and reinforce the defense.

    Russia can certainly pull this off but I think they have to strike a balance between the amount of troops they send south and how many they keep to defend Moscow.  The Ottomans are an easy target but as long as you can keep them out of Egypt and India, Germany and AH are the real threat.



  • @ghr2:

    I like Russia taking out Mesopotamia as well.  UK can clean up any survivors and reinforce the defense.

    Looking ahead, what if the Russians took Mesopotamia and the RR prevented any futher UK reinforcements from reaching the OE.



  • @johnsnelling:

    @ghr2:

    I like Russia taking out Mesopotamia as well.  UK can clean up any survivors and reinforce the defense.

    Looking ahead, what if the Russians took Mesopotamia and the RR prevented any futher UK reinforcements from reaching the OE.

    As far as I’m aware, the current RR rules allow UK troops to pass through Russian territories. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it would be an issue for the UK.



  • @Makoshark13:

    @johnsnelling:

    @ghr2:

    I like Russia taking out Mesopotamia as well.�  UK can clean up any survivors and reinforce the defense.

    Looking ahead, what if the Russians took Mesopotamia and the RR prevented any futher UK reinforcements from reaching the OE.Â

    As far as I’m aware, the current RR rules allow UK troops to pass through Russian territories. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it would be an issue for the UK.

    Yes you are correct. In the FAQ it is written:
    • All Russian units outside of original Russian territories will be immediately removed from the board, and Russia will immediately relinquish control of any non-original territories it may hold, including those of formerly aligned minor neutral powers.  If units belonging to other Allied powers are in these territories, control will be established using the rules for moving all units on one side out of a contested territory (see “Land Units”, page 15), otherwise these territories will be uncontrolled until another power moves into them and will not mobilize units when entered.

    I was erred into thinking because the RR makes Russia neutral.


  • 2016

    It does make them neutral and off limits…
    The original rule allowed for the allies to be in Russian territories, but the new rule is that russia gives up NON-ORIGINAL territories. Its ORIGINAL territories that are in Russian control become off limits to everyone except for the territories that are contested with the Central Powers.


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