Greetings from the Ottoman Empire.
Wanted to support Shri's AAR and also Richard's companion AAR for Austria. Sincere thanks to both. Anyone brave and energetic enough to do an AAR deserves a medal.
We just had our first victory against the evil Austrian invaders so it seemed a good time to enter on a high note. Well, considering the significance of the battle, at least entering on a non-negative note.
A little history first. I suppose the first question one might have is why would anyone in their right mind choose to play the Ottoman's in this game. Of course the obvious answer is I've never been in my right mind.
I joined the game with the previous host a couple of "attempts" ago. This is actually the 3rd iteration of this multi-player game beginning over a year ago. The choice of the Ottoman's mostly was a result of me not having much time to devote to the game. My job has been nuts ever since the pandemic hit. The Ottoman's seemed a good way to be involved, not have a lot to do yet still having a nice escape from reality every couple of evenings. Also, when the Ottoman's are played by the AI, it is pretty easy for several of the human players as major powers to take a couple of chunks of the Ottoman Empire every now and then. With the AI diplomacy this nibbling has a tendency to knock the game off it's historical balance. I committed to the host to try and not allow that to happen. As such the Ottoman approach to the game is probably more akin to that of role playing rather than winning a victory. I could be wrong but cracking into the top 3 seems like a long shot for the original "sick man of Europe".
My comments will unfortunately be somewhat limited since we have very little view as to what is happening in mainland Europe since we are not at war or allied with anybody that counts. As well, not that my plans matter very much, I don't want to give too much away at least near the current turn.
The game started off very quietly for the peace loving Ottoman's. We were able to concentrate on developing our economy and army. Heaven knows both need it badly.
Things began to get a bit worrisome when Prussia joined the coalition very quickly and the first French Emperor began to get hammered on by most of Europe. Not that the Ottomans are particularly close to the Frogs. Simply, as long as they are all fighting each other, they are less likely to look in a southeasterly direction and lick their lips.
It was not surprising when the "modern" Prussian military machine of Fredrick the Great received an intense education. But as long as the English, Austrians and Russians hung together, it was not going to be an easy war for the French. It was somewhat surprising however to learn that Austria was dropping out of the coalition. Talleyrand to the rescue. Immediate unsolicited apologies from the Frogs should have been our first clue that someone was looking southeast.
It was more surprising to hear that even after Austria's exit from hostilities, the English and Russian's were continuing to give the French more than they bargained for. In fact it began to look like the game might end. Somehow the Frogs were able to pull off, at least for now, a couple of miracles. Meanwhile large numbers of white uniforms began to appear along our border. That should have been our 2nd clue that evil eyes were upon us.
A short time later there seemed to be a lot of lost Austrians on the wrong side of the border. Being the patient and friendly people we are, we attempted to point out their orienteering errors and pointed back towards the Austrian border. Apparently the dull Austrians took this to mean our border guards wished to visit their beautiful country. Obligingly they helped our soldiers across the boarder using their bayonets as guides. Oddly some of our soldiers, merely to be polite I'm sure, commented that the Austrian rations were considerably better and more plentiful that those they had recently been receiving.
Imagine our shock when the Austrians began to move further into our territory. We began to suspect that they were in fact not lost and may be up to some nefarious purpose. We are continuing to carefully observe their actions but it is starting to appear they may have designs on Ottoman territory.
In the last chapter (for now), some of our soldiers did indeed loose their way in the mountains to the west. Unbelievable in their lack of hospitality, the Austrians opened fire on these simple mountain folk. As can be seen below, Albanian mountain folk are not to be trifled with.