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"Ottoman Turks Napoleonics?" Topic

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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 6:53 p.m. PST

We regularly game with a scaled down version of Empire. Ya wanna make something out if it??? grin

Anyway, a friend has tons of Russians and wants to go off the beaten path and put them against Turks.
It's kind of hard to come up with a good generic OOB for a "normal" Turkish army of the Napoleonic period.

So, two requests.
1. What is a good standard breakdown for a Napoleonic army, by troop type?
2. How would they be rated per Empire?
3. grin Who makes good 15mm Napoleonic Turks?

rmaker26 Jan 2021 9:53 p.m. PST

1. Get "The Crescent among the Eagles" by William Johnson. Published by George Nafziger. It will tell you all you ned to know about the forces of the Sublime Porte. It will also let you know that there is no "standard breakdown" of forces, so you can kind of wing it.

2. Not familiar enough with Empire to say.

3. 15mm isn't my scale, so I can't specify manufacturers, but when looking at figures for the Ottomans, don't just stick to the "Napoleonic" lists. 18th and 17th Century ranges (maybe even 16th) will have useful figures.

Sho Boki Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 10:01 p.m. PST


RudyNelson26 Jan 2021 10:51 p.m. PST

There was a Greek company that did Turks and Egyptians for the Greek War of Independence which would work. I think they were called Alpha Cast. Might try Minifig. Saw era Turks also. Outfits the same or similar.
Johnson's book is a classic. I used it when I was designing my rules way back in the 1980s.
You could end up with a Corps of local levy and irregular troops without any first class regulars in the command. Or just the opposite, a lot of Jannisaries with few support troops.

Major Function26 Jan 2021 11:31 p.m. PST

Khurasan Miniatures makes some nice Ottomans

Robert Burke26 Jan 2021 11:32 p.m. PST

The Turks always had a lot of cavalry. Especially the militia Spahis (as opposed to the Spahis of the Court).

I would guess that Janissaries make up about half the infantry.

The Johnson book is a must (and I don't say that just because I'm mentioned in the credits).

A more recent book is Chris Flaherty's "The Napoleonic Ottoman Army." You can see a lot of illustrations of Ottoman uniforms on his website at

Swampking27 Jan 2021 1:19 a.m. PST

Great suggestions, one and all.

I would also mention that you could use OG15s for the cavalry, especially their Renaissance line. From what I've read, and as mentioned here, the Turks used a lot of cavalry and a lot of it would be lance-armed, hence, I've bought a ton from OG15s. Also, their Renaissance artillery are perfect for militia/provincial/mercenary artillery.

AB and Mininiature Figurines make the best infantry, while OG15s are cheap, their command figures and some of the Sekhan figures are just weird, in my opinion. Their cavalry can't be beat (as stated above).

Flahtery's book is awesome! When combined with Johnson's book – will give the wargamer sufficient research to paint up a very colorful Ottoman army for the 7YW-Napoleonic period.


Cavalry would make up about half of the army (or more, depening on the theatre of operations and war – they used a heck of a lot of cavalry against the Russians).

Infantry – Again, depending on the above, Janissaries would be about half of the infantry (say, 2-4 regts. rated as 'line' infantry – they did have training but could be highly aggressive), with irregulars making up the rest. Nizam would be 1-2 battalions, no more. Balkan irregulars appeared to be better than the others, with the Albanians being 'crack' light infantry.

Swampking27 Jan 2021 4:46 a.m. PST

So, Ottoman Turks possible for a cool Napoleonic army:

AB Miniatures – Janissaries, Albanians and Mamluks

OG 15s – (in their 7YW range) – Janissaries, Sekhans, Topiji artillery, Souverileri, Sipahi

OG15s – (in their Renaissance range) – various infantry, cavalry and artillery + a really cool Sultan set complete with dancing girls!

Irregular – some really cool Balkan types in their various ranges that could be used for militia and/or mercenaries

Venexia – don't know the current producer but has some really cool figures

Miniature Figurines – solid range that is pretty compatible with the above

OOP – Falcon Miniatures, FFUK (Falcon Figures UK), Jacobite, Alpha Cast

There might be more figures that are suitable but the above are what I have in my army (mostly unpainted)

Black Hat Miniatures27 Jan 2021 5:25 a.m. PST

I'd add Fighting15s Napoleon in Egypt range…


khanscom27 Jan 2021 6:39 a.m. PST

"The Courier" No. 69, 'Using Ottoman Turks on the Wargame Table' by Wyatt Kappely.

The article has suggested ratings for Ottoman troops using the "Empire" conventions.

Nine pound round27 Jan 2021 6:49 a.m. PST

Empire V, "Revolution & Empire," and Empire III all have Ottoman Turkish troop quality lists.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 6:52 a.m. PST

I have been thinking about this project for many years.

"The Crescent" book is well worth the money.

The author has a couple of pages in the back related to wargaming. He puts the number of Janissaries at up to roughly 30%.

He rates Janissaries as Kingdom of Naples line, Nizam as 1813 Prussian line, Mamluks as French hussars, Sipahis as Prussian landwehr cav, etc.

Some Essex Renaissance Ottomans would also work. Some of their peasants from the Crusades line would work as well.

Sadly, Alpha Cast went out of production after the untimely and unexpected death of the owner.

It would be a great looking and colorful army. A core of decent units surrounded by rabble. IIRC, the Ottomans were still known to chain wagons together to make a "hard point" in the middle of their line.

mildbill27 Jan 2021 8:26 a.m. PST

Dont forget lots of artillery and good quality sappers so digging in is possible.

21eRegt27 Jan 2021 8:41 a.m. PST

As noted, Empire (blessed be) has ratings for Ottomans. If it was me I'd proportionally I'd put them at:
20% Janissaries (maybe one Guard unit)
40% Regular types
40% Levies
40% Mamelukes
10% Sipahis
50% All others
Artillery (different than Empire)
20% heavy guns with colorful designs
70% medium guns
10% French crewed medium guns

Have fun!

TMPWargamerabbit27 Jan 2021 9:17 a.m. PST

Janissaries and Nizam units would never be in the same army. They would attack each other before any enemy. Mamelukes only in Egypt so many unit types are provincial / regional only. The wagon camps are european only. Artillery again weaker as you head into the outback regions of the empire. In Egypt they had the carriages on attached sand boards (to wheels) to cross the desert sand for example.

Been playing Ottomans for years. Over 2000+ paint 25/28mm miniatures. Several tabletop battles posted on my blog for eye candy.

Battle of Gaza 1799 game: link

Battle of the Pyramids 1798: link

Battle of Aboukir 1799:

I do recommend the mentioned books above for a good start on the army makeup. Keep in mind the Ottomans vary greatly from the area around Istanbul out to the provincial armies.

marmont1814 Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 9:34 a.m. PST

Lancashire Games – us, owns Venexia

Valmy9227 Jan 2021 2:13 p.m. PST

Swamp king,
I just finished painting a bag of OG's Anatolian Sekhans, and between Johnson and Osprey I figured out which plates each figure was based on. Unfortunately, one pose each from three different regions. So, I varied the colors to break up the regiments.

evilgong27 Jan 2021 2:40 p.m. PST

If the OP's friend wants to match his Russians against Turks in the Caucasus, he can add a mutually-suspicious Persian ally to go with the Ottomans.

I think the Nizam/Janissary hostility while real enough is hard to spot in Egypt-Levant for action against the French and maybe even during the next decade. It might have been easier for a general or provincial leader to keep them in line than the sultan surrounded by Janissaries in Constantinople.

Such things probably come down to how much player discretion you like in your games.

With a set of Janissary figs you can also morph forces for the semi-independent or autonomous parts of the Ottoman world; Mamluk Baghdad was at times openly hostile to the porte, Egypt post 1803, deserters joining the Wahhabist Arabs, Tripoli, Algeria, Tunis and Albania.

David F Brown

kippryon27 Jan 2021 6:56 p.m. PST

What about a 'normal' Armιe d'Orient OOB as well? Assume that French Revolutionary figures (15mm)would suffice.? Just Curious.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 7:49 p.m. PST

I think if you have 15mm ACW Zouaves, and sufficiently exotic Ancients and "other" late Medieval/Renaissance armies you can put some suitable proxies on the table. Warning! Don't do this in public where you might cause the Pearl clutches to clutch their pearls and gasp in anguish.
In the OFM's basement, much is forgiven.

Swampking27 Jan 2021 11:42 p.m. PST

John the OFM – I played in a Russians vs. Ottoman game at Historicon back in the early '00s and the GM had painted both armies. He used a combination of every conceivable Ottoman 15mm mini possible. I noticed:

(a) Minifigs (at the time) Napoleonic Ottomans + pirates, Arabs and I believe a few Indians (as in India – from the French Revolution range)
(b) OG15s Ottomans (from both 7YW and Renaissance ranges)
(c) Museum – mostly Arabs and a few Indians (as in India) cavalry, some cool camels were on the table as well – not sure if they were Museum, probably Essex
(d) Essex – from various ranges but mostly from the 'Eastern Renaissance' range
(e) a Venexia gun + crew
(f) Irregular (I'm not sure what range those guys were from)
(g) various other 'drips and drabs' – I noticed quite a few from Jacobite/Simtac – mostly Albanians
(h) some weird peasants armed with hand weapons – probably from a Medieval or late Medieval range

The paint job was what 'sold' the army as Ottoman.

ACW Zouaves are very versatile figures – can be used for 1848 Serbs, Crimean War French, Ottoman Nizam (depending on the color scheme).

dBerczerk28 Jan 2021 10:02 a.m. PST


These Cairo Janissaries (HaT Industries 54mm plastic ACW Zouaves) have served me well during several tabletop battles.


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2021 8:20 a.m. PST

Thanks all.
I've passed on your suggestions to my friends.

Prince of Essling29 Jan 2021 10:16 a.m. PST

The Nizam-I Cedid Army under Sultan Selim III 1789-1807
Author(s): Stanford J. Shaw
Source: Oriens , 1965/1966, Vol. 18/19 (1965/1966), pp. 168-184
Published by: Brill
Stable URL:
PDF link

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