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Card. Contarini

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Or rather Saloniki is an important local center of trade for the balkan area after the Ottoman conquest. ... The book you mention describes the situation from 1550 onward when Saloniki and it´s hinterland were already all in Ottoman hands so that trade could flow freely. That was not the case during the siege of Saloniki while the byzantines or the venetians held the city.
In terms of how this should be represented, the parallel I'd bring up would be Alexandria as CoT: Before 1419 (the beginning of this game), Alexandria at most historical points is the most important center of trade in Egypt. However, some figures would show that at points within the 1517-1700 period, Cairo would arguably be more important as a CoT than Alexandria (although both would have been important, effectively "co-centers" of trade in Egypt -- that is, we wouldn't speak of a serious "decline" of Alexandria under Ottomans); but then by the late 1700s, Alexandria is unquestionably again the dominant trade center in Egypt and much more important in those terms than Cairo. Ok, how should a CoT in Egypt be represented in-game? I think absolutely the best symbolic representation would be for Alexandria to remain the CoT in Egypt during the entire period represented in this game; although some very minor level of exact nuanced detail is sacrificed in that case, just going with that is realistically "good enough" and probably the best representative logic for gameplay purposes, the best overall symbolic representation of the historical reality in terms of acting pragmatically within this game's confines.

And so, was Thessalonika a historically important international trade center during periods before the Ottoman conquest? Yes. Ok, was Salonika an important international CoT, under Ottoman control, by the early 1500s? Definitely. And the more complicated question: was it an important international CoT during most of the 1400s, after the Ottoman conquest but before arrival of the Sephardic merchants? That would be much less clear.

I don't see a problem with Salonika becoming a CoT only when the "Jewish refugees from Portugal" event fires, but I'm also not sure whether that would make whatever issues we see now with trade areas in that region more or less complicated to deal with. And so, like Alexandria, I don't know that the idea of Salonika represented as a CoT through the entirety of the game is really so bad as a decision. We may lose some detail in terms of Salonika's disruption before reemergence, but what is the better CoT representation in that time period? That is, does someone have a better idea on how to handle Ottoman CoT's between 1419 and 1492 that would then still segue well into the event where Salonika becomes a CoT ("Jewish refugees from Portugal") and remains as such? I think various possibilities should be considered regarding what representations would be seen as most symbolically appropriate as approximations of history within gameplay confines.



The ottomans took the city twice. That does not convince me that the town was harder to attack than others they conquered.
The first time they conquered the city in the 1300s, they were essentially invited in by the Greek inhabitants, in part because at that time the Ottomans had a reputation as tolerant and efficient leaders (before long they would not be so well-loved, of course). And in both conquests, Ottomans already controlled the Macedonian hinterland. The second capture of the city actually involved an eight-year siege, which is an extremely extended siege by historical standards. And that occurred like that even though the Ottomans already controlled the Macedonian hinterland and the city changed hands between the Byzantines and Venice during the course of the siege (undergoing transfer of authority from one state to another would be the sort of event which would seemingly ordinarily disrupt the defense of a city actively under siege) -- so, the fact that the Ottomans had these immense advantages and still weren't able to conquer the city until after one of the longest sieges in history is indicative of the city's natural defenses. Salonika should be an extremely difficult city to conquer (especially if the attacker does not control the Macedonian hinterland, although the hinterland and city are a single province in this mod). Note that after the Ottomans conquered the city in 1430, they do not lose ownership until 1912 (and think about all they gain and lose during that period). I'm honestly not sure that they even lose active control of the city during war at any point during the time period represented in this game.
 

ConjurerDragon

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...
Can this event be modified to include cb cores on Hormuz (if Portugal owns or Hormuz exists and is a vassal of Portugal) and Bahrain (if Portugal owns) as well? I think if Ottomans gain Hormuz they should be forced to release it as a vassal, but if they gain Bahrain they should keep it (and maybe not lose cb core) -- Ottomans maintained a claim over Bahrain until an accord with Britain in 1913.
A question first: Do you refer to the historical region of Bahrain or the nowadays island of Bahrain?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahrain_(historical_region)

If you mean the island of Bahrain: Unlike Quatar which the Ottomans took from the portuguese and kept until the end of the games timeframe, Bahrain was no ottoman province - rather it was conquered in turns from Persia or Oman.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bahrain#Portuguese_rule
The Ottomans only gained Bahrain decades after the end of our games timeframe. So as TUR is not supposed to rule Bahrain in the games timeframe it should lose the CB core on Bahrain as soon as it takes it from a non-muslim invader. However more historical would be if the persians would take it from POR.

About the event that grants a core on Muscat: In my opinion we should give out cores on the periphery of Ottoman influence only one-by-one and only if the Ottomans can afford to spend the effort to gain them (e.g. not in a major european war at the time, having conquered the more important national cores first). I would suggest to leave TUR 301139 only for the core on Muscat and if you like you could create new events for other provinces that were under ottoman rule.

Maybe my earlier suggestion holds, other than the alliance part (ie Aceh becomes a vassal). However, during this period, the Ottomans did hold aspirations to essentially be the global defenders of Islam -- I don't think it's absurd to posit that if Aceh had been attacked by, for instance, China or some southeast Asian country (that was not Sunni) that Ottoman protection could have been requested and received.
The problem with Aceh becoming an ottoman vassal is, that that would make it impossible for Aceh to join any local alliances. A vassal can only enter an alliance with it´s liege.
 

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Event TUR 301016

There is a logical error in that event.
It tries to remove the claimcore of TUR on Muscat that TUR gained with event TUR 301139 - however if TUR held the province for a sufficient number of years then the claimcore will already have changed into a nationalcore - and that can´t be removed by the removecore_claim command.
A removecore_national command needs to be used that can remove ANY type of core.

Code:
#(1740-1770) The Omani Rebellion
event = {
	id = 301016
	trigger = {
		OR = {
			AND = { 
				owned = { province = 504 data = -1 } #Mascate
				control = { province = 504 data = -1 }
			} 
			vassal = { country = TUR country = OMA }
		}
	}
	random = no
	country = TUR
	name = "EVENTNAME301016" #The Omani rebellion
	desc = "EVENTHIST301016"
	#-#The Ottoman rule in Oman was ended when Ahmad ibn Said of Yemen expelled them and restored the independent Omani Sultanate in 1741.

	date = { day = 1 month = january year = 1740 }
	offset = 1000
	deathdate = { day = 29 month = december year = 1770 }

	action_a = {
		name = "ACTIONNAME301016A" #Let them go
		command = { type = independence which = OMA }
		command = { type = removecore_[color=red]claim[/color][color=yellow]national[/color] which = 504  } #Muscat
		command = { type = trigger which = 248000 } #OMA: Ahmad ibn Said seizes power
		command = { type = trigger which = 301046 } #TUR: Omani independence
	}
	action_b = {
		name = "ACTIONNAME3391B" #Crush the rebels
		command = { type = revolt which = 504 } #Mascate
		command = { type = revolt which = 504 } #Mascate
		command = { type = revolt which = 503 } #Masirah
		command = { type = revolt which = 505 } #Al Kharam
		command = { type = revoltrisk which = 36 value = 4 }
		command = { type = stability value = -2 }
	}
}
 

Card. Contarini

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A question first: Do you refer to the historical region of Bahrain or the nowadays island of Bahrain?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahrain_(historical_region)

If you mean the island of Bahrain: Unlike Quatar which the Ottomans took from the portuguese and kept until the end of the games timeframe, Bahrain was no ottoman province - rather it was conquered in turns from Persia or Oman.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bahrain#Portuguese_rule
The Ottomans only gained Bahrain decades after the end of our games timeframe. So as TUR is not supposed to rule Bahrain in the games timeframe it should lose the CB core on Bahrain as soon as it takes it from a non-muslim invader. However more historical would be if the persians would take it from POR.
I do mean the island of Bahrain -- the Ottoman Empire did make a technical claim on the island for a very long period until the early 20th century when it renounced that claim as part of an agreement with Britain. The British actually recognized a nominal Ottoman sovereignty over the island of Bahrain in the late 1800s (although the Ottomans did not effectively even administer it then). The fact that the island was never actually conquered or administered by the Ottomans, I think, actually allows for an almost perfect type of case for use of something like the cb core, at least in terms of how I conceive of the utility of what that should represent historically, unless I'm somehow radically misunderstanding the purpose of cb cores as opposed to regular national cores. I actually think Ottomans should retain the cb core over Bahrain through the entire game after it appears, as they historically continued to make that claim throughout the time period of this game.

I'm in process of attempting to write the events for Ottoman wars against Portugal in the Indian Ocean and hope to complete that within several days (I've been otherwise busy and there's some learning process involved).

A few other thoughts on Ottoman Empire and the Balkans:
1. Has there ever been any consideration of naming TUR in this game as "Osmanli Empire" or something along those lines? I could see that adding to some level of aesthetic immersion, but I'm not sure if there are hard "rules" about how these things are handled.

2. If multiple centers of trade immediately near the Aegean is too difficult, I think an acceptable representation might be for the CoT in Istanbul to move to Salonika (Selanik) ~1492-1520, then from there to Smyrna ~1700-1750 (not sure on an exact year, but within that range it should become the main CoT for TUR).

3. Is there any thought about making the Latin states in Greece not accept the Greek culture? I think Venice probably would need to retain Greek for gameplay or other reasons, but the other "Italian" states in Greece really ended up being pretty weak and falling quickly. maybe if TUR is being arguably "weakened" in some ways then these states should in turn to essentially be built to fall as they historically did. At points early in the game those states with Greek culture can possibly form alliances with other states and surround TUR and maybe exert a little bit more power than they should in such situations.

4. I think the province Macedonia should either begin the game with a stronger fortress or gain one in 1430 symbolizing the Turkish conquest of Salonika. Salonika was really pretty tough to capture after the Ottomans took it the second time (and they only lost ownership after first conquest when Timur smashed apart their entire state), and I think a medium rather than small fortress is not implausible, especially if Ottomans are going to be having a tougher time in the Balkans in other ways (and tougher time in general with fewer cultures, less tax income and cumulative manpower coming from Arabia, Maghreb). I would go so far as to say that I don't even think it's implausible to have the fortress become Medium in 1430, then go another +1 in 1492 symbolizing both the additional economic importance of the city and the arrival of intelligence networks associated with a center of trade opening (if that occurs at that point). The overall importance of that province to the Ottomans in many ways as one of the most central geostrategic focal points holding together the Balkan peninsula is drastically understated in other mods that I've played, and I wonder whether relative "weakening" of the Ottomans in other regards could give opportunity for tweaking them stronger in instances like Macedonia's defenses.

5. Upon additional consideration I now think that if the Arab culture is undivided that Ottomans should not receive it at any point, and even now wonder if Arab is split whether Ottomans should even receive Syrian. Syria for the most part is definitely more "really a part of the Ottoman state" in ways that north Africa wasn't and even Iraq wasn't and certain Yemen etc weren't. but the population of that area actually decreased under Ottoman rule, and Lebanon was in fact during periods in this game's timespan ruled through a vassal principality. In terms of other issues and how this plays into them, not giving Arab to Ottomans also makes steps like the cb core on Bahrain more plausible and not gameplay imbalancing, as that will be a wrong-culture and very likely wrong-religion province for Ottomans and thus not a key priority and not much of a base at all for them to pursue unless they really want someone else to not have that position, but allowing them the option to pursue that would seem to be within the realms of probability a very realistic historical game should allow.) Without without Maghrebi or Arab the Ottoman game will probably change somewhat noticeably.

6. I would even not reject entirely the idea of removing Bulgarian for the Ottomans, although immediate countersteps for balancing would need to be taken (slight increase in income or manpower in the Bulgarian provinces, and maybe making several provinces -- Dobruja, Rumelia, Varna -- moderately easier to convert to symbolize Turkish population migration to those areas [although I absolutely think that areas which never historically converted to Islam and which also did not historically experience significant Turkish migration should not be nearly as easy to convert as they sometimes still are at present, regardless of other changes that are or aren't made]). I think it's possibly ok in those contexts for Thrace to begin the game as Turkish (but maybe Orthodox religion as there would still be a clear majority between Greeks and Bulgarians over Turks so early in the game, even if we can posit a Turkish ethnic plurality in their capital province surrounded by minority cultures), and for Macedonia to become Turkish maybe as early as 1430. I think they absolutely would need to gain Albanian and Bosnian at appropriate points, and this all obviously would need to be tested to see if the Ottomans remain viable. As I said, these types of weakenings would need to be met with countersteps to strengthen the Ottomans, which in many instances could anyway also be the most appropriate steps to take in terms of historical representation.
 

Therion

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1. The convention is for country names to be in English. Besides, Osmanli Empire wouldn't really fit -- it would be like saying Español Empire. Ottoman and Osmanli are ultimately cognates deriving from different pronunciations of the founder of the dynasty (Arabic Uthman and Turkish Osman). If we changed the name to the native language (in this case, Osmanli Imparatorlugu), we'd have to do the same for all countries.

2. The issue of definable CoT areas is being looked at by MichaelM. I'm fine with your changes; however, we'd need a set of accompanying events.

3. Yes, this has already been done.

4. Fine by me.

5/6. In the current setup, TUR will start with Turkish and Bulgarian, and gain Greek, Serbian, Albanian, Bosnian, Levantine, Kurdish, and Egyptian provided that a Beylerbey is installed in Egypt. So far I've axed Maghrebi and split Arabic as discussed. I still think TUR still has a lot of cultures but we need to run some tests before deciding to axe further. I've seen AI TUR suffer a lot when the revolts kick in.
 

ConjurerDragon

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...The fact that the island was never actually conquered or administered by the Ottomans, I think, actually allows for an almost perfect type of case for use of something like the cb core, at least in terms of how I conceive of the utility of what that should represent historically, unless I'm somehow radically misunderstanding the purpose of cb cores as opposed to regular national cores. I actually think Ottomans should retain the cb core over Bahrain through the entire game after it appears, as they historically continued to make that claim throughout the time period of this game.
The problem is that even a CB core as the lowest core still would give TUR a casus belli to declare war on any state that owns the province. Do we want to have TUR go to war with Bahrain or other states in the games timeframe (historically e.g. the Safavids or Oman) that own the island and again when it would revolt away?

IMO no - because historically the Ottoman Empire only ruled Bahrain decades after 1820 for a short while, before they agreed to let Bahrain and Kuwait go.

So *if* TUR receives a core on Bahrain then the only suitable core would be a CB core (so that they still suffer local resistance and have lower manpower there) that they should lose at once they own the province to prevent them going to war for it again and again. Manageable for a human player who has to work to keep rebels down there.

And TUR should gain that core *only* if TUR actually has gained it´s historical cores before so that it does not go into wars for areas it did not rule instead of conquering the areas it did rule.

I'm in process of attempting to write the events for Ottoman wars against Portugal in the Indian Ocean and hope to complete that within several days (I've been otherwise busy and there's some learning process involved).
Have you noticed that some events about that already exist? e.g. TUR 301073 and 301074

5. Upon additional consideration I now think that if the Arab culture is undivided that Ottomans should not receive it at any point, and even now wonder if Arab is split whether Ottomans should even receive Syrian. Syria for the most part is definitely more "really a part of the Ottoman state" in ways that north Africa wasn't and even Iraq wasn't and certain Yemen etc weren't. but the population of that area actually decreased under Ottoman rule, and Lebanon was in fact during periods in this game's timespan ruled through a vassal principality. In terms of other issues and how this plays into them, not giving Arab to Ottomans also makes steps like the cb core on Bahrain more plausible and not gameplay imbalancing, as that will be a wrong-culture and very likely wrong-religion province for Ottomans and thus not a key priority and not much of a base at all for them to pursue unless they really want someone else to not have that position, but allowing them the option to pursue that would seem to be within the realms of probability a very realistic historical game should allow.) Without without Maghrebi or Arab the Ottoman game will probably change somewhat noticeably.
That depends on how we define a vassal. Most vassals of the ottomans for most of the game in the middle east or Tunisia would not qualify to be a vassal in our gameterms but rather a province ruled directly by a governor. Only after Karlowitz did those "vassals" grow bolder and started to make independent politics and even turned on TUR like Muhammad Ali of Egypt.

6. I would even not reject entirely the idea of removing Bulgarian for the Ottomans, although immediate countersteps for balancing would need to be taken (slight increase in income or manpower in the Bulgarian provinces, and maybe making several provinces -- Dobruja, Rumelia, Varna -- moderately easier to convert to symbolize Turkish population migration to those areas [although I absolutely think that areas which never historically converted to Islam and which also did not historically experience significant Turkish migration should not be nearly as easy to convert as they sometimes still are at present, regardless of other changes that are or aren't made]). I think it's possibly ok in those contexts for Thrace to begin the game as Turkish (but maybe Orthodox religion as there would still be a clear majority between Greeks and Bulgarians over Turks so early in the game, even if we can posit a Turkish ethnic plurality in their capital province surrounded by minority cultures), and for Macedonia to become Turkish maybe as early as 1430.
Several provinces including Macedonia change provinceculture to turkish after the conquest of Byzanz. I don´t think it should be turkish before.
 

Card. Contarini

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1. The convention is for country names to be in English. Besides, Osmanli Empire wouldn't really fit -- it would be like saying Español Empire. Ottoman and Osmanli are ultimately cognates deriving from different pronunciations of the founder of the dynasty (Arabic Uthman and Turkish Osman). If we changed the name to the native language (in this case, Osmanli Imparatorlugu), we'd have to do the same for all countries.
My thinking is somewhat along the lines of the fact that Ottoman refers to the name of the dynasty, and that I anticipate that at some point in the future, given general trends regarding these sort of things, that eventually scholars might transition toward referring to the name of that dynasty through a more exact transliteration; general usage at least in English trends, I think, toward eventually using as exact of transliterations as possible for these things even if there had been a prior entrenched usage of an earlier term -- given that Ottoman is a family name, I think a fair parallel would be that Timur was for a very long time known as Tamerlane in English. Or we see Mughals as Moguls, etc. Ottoman is the traditional rendering in English, but these types of things often change. I think the best English rendering of the dynasty name without using special characters would probably be Osmanli, and from there Osmanli Empire could/should eventually be a standard usage to refer to the state. It's also a usage that at least appears to have been rarely used in some works (see), so it's not unprecedented. I sort of like the idea of aesthetically trying to push a cutting edge regarding historical immersion even ahead of present standard usage by scholars, but if that's just not really something we're into doing it's not the biggest deal.


5/6. In the current setup, TUR will start with Turkish and Bulgarian, and gain Greek, Serbian, Albanian, Bosnian, Levantine, Kurdish, and Egyptian provided that a Beylerbey is installed in Egypt. So far I've axed Maghrebi and split Arabic as discussed. I still think TUR still has a lot of cultures but we need to run some tests before deciding to axe further. I've seen AI TUR suffer a lot when the revolts kick in.
I strongly dislike the idea of TUR receiving Serbian at any point (possibly to balance, Kosovo could just become Albanian through an event instead?), but otherwise I think that list is a place to start and would myself be willing to test scenarios geared toward determining ways to reduce TUR's list of accepted cultures while maintaining its historical strength.
 

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My thinking is somewhat along the lines of the fact that Ottoman refers to the name of the dynasty, and that I anticipate that at some point in the future, given general trends regarding these sort of things, that eventually scholars might transition toward referring to the name of that dynasty through a more exact transliteration; general usage at least in English trends, I think, toward eventually using as exact of transliterations as possible for these things even if there had been a prior entrenched usage of an earlier term -- given that Ottoman is a family name, I think a fair parallel would be that Timur was for a very long time known as Tamerlane in English. Or we see Mughals as Moguls, etc. Ottoman is the traditional rendering in English, but these types of things often change. I think the best English rendering of the dynasty name without using special characters would probably be Osmanli, and from there Osmanli Empire could/should eventually be a standard usage to refer to the state. It's also a usage that at least appears to have been rarely used in some works (see), so it's not unprecedented. I sort of like the idea of aesthetically trying to push a cutting edge regarding historical immersion even ahead of present standard usage by scholars, but if that's just not really something we're into doing it's not the biggest deal.
Well, this would have an implication on many other names, especially those in the non-Western world. For instance, by the same standards, the Golden Horde would require renaming to Ulus of Juchi or, perhaps, even Kipchak Horde. China would have to be named Great Ming, and, eventually, Great Qing. Both the Timurid and Mughal Empires would probably have to be Gurkani Empire. Byzantium to Roman Empire. Japan to Nippon. Korea to Joseon. And so on.

Hence if we are willing to do a modification this sort, I would prefer it to be applied across the board to avoid inconsistencies. And to this end, it would make sense to apply some standard.

Firstly, which language to use? English or native? Many Total War mods have come to use native names for factions as well. Native names best resolve the issue of ethnocentrism, which, however, is not necessarily undesirable given the period and the general scope of this game. I have already renamed all European cities to their name in the prevailing state language. On the other hand, culture nomenclatures are almost exclusively in English. Then there remains the problem of transliterating or transcribing from some languages (e.g. Arabic).

If we choose to go by English names, would that be according to traditional or modern/accurate transliterations? I personally favour traditional renditions as that makes the game all the more immersive. This is the reason I have sought to avoid modern terms like Arpitan and Baltic when I was modifying the cultures.

I strongly dislike the idea of TUR receiving Serbian at any point (possibly to balance, Kosovo could just become Albanian through an event instead?), but otherwise I think that list is a place to start and would myself be willing to test scenarios geared toward determining ways to reduce TUR's list of accepted cultures while maintaining its historical strength.
Yeah, Serbian can be removed.

Did you manage to install the subversion? I might implement some of your suggestions in the next update.
 
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ConjurerDragon

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Yeah, Serbian can be removed...
Serbia was part of the ottoman empire for almost 300 years and did not give them more or harder revolts than the hungarians did give the austrians or other similar nations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ottoman_Serbia

As we already have event TUR 301114 to remove greek and serbian culture from the Ottomans at a time the serbians became more nationalistic and unruly, it should be more historical if TUR has serbian as accepted culture until then.
 

Toio

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Serbia was part of the ottoman empire for almost 300 years and did not give them more or harder revolts than the hungarians did give the austrians or other similar nations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ottoman_Serbia

As we already have event TUR 301114 to remove greek and serbian culture from the Ottomans at a time the serbians became more nationalistic and unruly, it should be more historical if TUR has serbian as accepted culture until then.
I agree with yourself.

so, give Serbian culture to TUR at start of 1419 and ends with TUR 301114
 

Card. Contarini

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Serbia was part of the ottoman empire for almost 300 years and did not give them more or harder revolts than the hungarians did give the austrians or other similar nations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ottoman_Serbia

As we already have event TUR 301114 to remove greek and serbian culture from the Ottomans at a time the serbians became more nationalistic and unruly, it should be more historical if TUR has serbian as accepted culture until then.
Reading the same Wikipedia article, my own impression just from that would be that the Ottomans certainly should not receive Serbian as a culture. Serbia was ruled indirectly through a principality often and during the times when it wasn't the Serbs left en masse for regions in Hungary (Vojvodina and Banat). (It's the population flight of Serbs which especially makes me think they aren't any sort of "core integrating culture" of the Ottoman Empire, and I'd say that eventually Levantine should be questionable as well for similar but less drastic reasons.)

Is there anything like a general "policy" regarding what states accept which cultures? For instance, England does not receive Cornish, but it would be vastly more plausible for England to receive Cornish than for the Ottomans to receive Serbian. In terms of your parallel posited regarding Austria and the Hungarian culture, perhaps that would merely indicate that the more historical rendering here would be for Austria to not receive Hungarian/Magyar during the time period you indicate. A way I'd think of it would be that if Hungary were to conquer Serbia (and Hungary does receive cores on Serbia), it's more likely that Serbia would have, while perhaps remaining somewhat nationalistic, integrated more into a large multinational Hungarian empire than they did into the Ottoman empire. And Hungary never receives Serbian as a culture, and it's less plausible that those provinces should function as core economically-integrating provinces of the Ottoman Empire than they would have for a Hungarian Empire.
 

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Well, this would have an implication on many other names, especially those in the non-Western world. For instance, by the same standards, the Golden Horde would require renaming to Ulus of Juchi or, perhaps, even Kipchak Horde. China would have to be named Great Ming, and, eventually, Great Qing. Both the Timurid and Mughal Empires would probably have to be Gurkani Empire. Byzantium to Roman Empire. Japan to Nippon. Korea to Joseon. And so on.
I'm not necessarily pushing hard for a change on this, but I actually think many of those changes would actually work well in terms of a type of immersion. Byzantine Empire as Roman Empire almost especially seems appropriate. ("Roman Empire of the Greeks" would be a better name than "Byzantine Empire", and even "Eastern Roman Empire" could be considered, but just "Roman Empire" could add to the immersion experience -- that's certainly how they perceived themselves, and how the surrounding states and especially the Ottomans perceived them.) I think a plausible standard could be attempting to strive toward the most exact English-language equivalent rendering possible of the state's name that has appeared in at least some published historical sources (maps or texts) deemed credible as a rendering in English (ie, not left as an untranslated term but as an actual English rendering). This is more an idea than a major suggestion for implementation. But in terms of a game mod being effectively a "creative work" based on historical reality (as understood through the prism of published works on history), it's possible that these sort of things could be dealt with in creative ways seen as appropriate for a more full gameplay experience.


Did you manage to install the subversion? I might implement some of your suggestions in the next update.
Yes.
 
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ConjurerDragon

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Reading the same Wikipedia article, my own impression just from that would be that the Ottomans certainly should not receive Serbian as a culture. Serbia was ruled indirectly through a principality often and during the times when it wasn't the Serbs left en masse for regions in Hungary (Vojvodina and Banat). (It's the population flight of Serbs which especially makes me think they aren't any sort of "core integrating culture" of the Ottoman Empire, and I'd say that eventually Levantine should be questionable as well for similar but less drastic reasons.)
Serbian is no "core integrated" culture for the ottomans. Turkish is their main culture. And in PU the ottomans do not start with serbian culture.
There already is an event for that a lot of serbians left their home to Hungary after the ottoman conquest, TUR301028 in which the value of the serbian provinces is greatly reduced by removing population, provincemanpower and taxincome to simulate the loss of those serbs that just don´t want to be ruled by the ottomans (at that time - later the banat of Temesvar becomes ottoman too) and leave for Hungary.
But after the conquest of those serbian provinces in those same events serbian is addded and IMO that is correct because historically the ottomans did rule the area from then on for approximately 300 years without more problems than other provinces so serbian should be an "accepted culture" for them - until the 18th century.

*I* would even have the ottomans start with serbian culture - although I know that would find no majority - because the serbians fought already at the Battle of Ankara faithfully for their future masters ^^
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ankara#Forces

Is there anything like a general "policy" regarding what states accept which cultures? For instance, England does not receive Cornish, but it would be vastly more plausible for England to receive Cornish than for the Ottomans to receive Serbian.
Actually no. England seems to me much more monolithic in culture. Instead of the state of England embracing cornish or welsh or irish or gaelic or whatever IMO it always looked as if those other cultures turned into english instead of the state accepting them.
The ottomans on the other hand were in Europe unique at that time that everyone under their rule "had a marshalls staff in his backpack" like later only under Napoleon in France. Compared to the christian states the ottoman empire (at that time) was a really modern state and had a bit in common with the later USA where everyone could become everything. Even greeks or others gaining high positions as Viziers.

In terms of your parallel posited regarding Austria and the Hungarian culture, perhaps that would merely indicate that the more historical rendering here would be for Austria to not receive Hungarian/Magyar during the time period you indicate. A way I'd think of it would be that if Hungary were to conquer Serbia (and Hungary does receive cores on Serbia), it's more likely that Serbia would have, while perhaps remaining somewhat nationalistic, integrated more into a large multinational Hungarian empire than they did into the Ottoman empire. And Hungary never receives Serbian as a culture, and it's less plausible that those provinces should function as core economically-integrating provinces of the Ottoman Empire than they would have for a Hungarian Empire.
Austria gains hungarian only later in the game in AGCEEP and has several events that give them revolts to simulate that the hungarians were not entirely lucky with them. However not giving them hungaian culture (so reducing their income by -30%, raising revoltrisk generally and reducing manpower from Hungary for Austria) could mean that in a game Austria would not be able to conquer Hungary from the ottomans and hold it until the end of the game. And that is what historically happened and what is desired to happen in most games.

Serbia fought Hungary just as hard as they did fight the Ottomans to remain as free as possible The cores on Hungary on Serbia are there because Hungary did try to conquer the area and should fight wars to get them, not because the serbians like the hungarians more than the ottomans at first.

That Hungary does not receive serbian as an accepted culture is because in PU the cultures were split. In the original AGCEEP there is only "slavonic" and Hungary does receve that with the "serbs fleeing the ottomans" event HUN 188116.
 
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Therion

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IMO the representation of territory historically ruled over by states is represented by national cores not cultures. Otherwise what role should we ascribe to different core types? Cultures should, rather, signify efficiency of rule, which had been well lacking before the rise of the centralized national states of the 19th c. Such states strived for the homogenization of society through the forced assimilation of ethnic and linguistic minorities in order to increase efficiency, economic output and stability. It seems far-fetched to suppose that the Ottoman Empire at the time was as efficient, which is we're implying when we hand it all those cultures. In fact, it couldn't keep up at all before itself being dismantled to make way for the Turkish national state. In the way you put it, possibly influenced by modern democratic liberalism and its pretension of tolerance, no state would have taken the trouble of assimilating cultures when it could just as well have accepted them.
 

ConjurerDragon

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IMO the representation of territory historically ruled over by states is represented by national cores not cultures. Otherwise what role should we ascribe to different core types?
Yes. And no. ^^
Cores are given to states to make them fight for an area and guide the AI in conquering certain areas. Any core gives a casus belli to declare war to gain a core it does not own, reduces the cost of asking for that province in a peace deal and allows asking for that core province even if that province is not occupied but other ones are, national cores are areas where no "nationalism" should be expected. Nationalism in "" because given the timeframe it should rather be called local resistance against foreign rule.

Cultures should, rather, signify efficiency of rule, which had been well lacking before the rise of the centralized national states of the 19th c. Such states strived for the homogenization of society through the forced assimilation of ethnic and linguistic minorities in order to increase efficiency, economic output and stability.
For efficiency or centralized states we have the centralization slider.
Nation states did. The Turkish republic under Kemal certainly did because he tried to keep turks (and kurds at that time) together when everything else broke away and the osmanic model of a state had clearly failed due to the rise of nationalism in all regions.
Late Medieval states as those at the beginning of the 1419 scenario were still lacking the idea of a nation with "one nation, one empire, one leader" - e.g. the king of Hungary did not have the loyalty of just hungarian nobles, but those of vlach, german, slovak and other cultures too. So did the ottoman state that got more taxes from it´s christian subjects due to the head tax and get more manpower from it´s christian provinces due to the devshirme than from it´s muslim provinces.

It seems far-fetched to suppose that the Ottoman Empire at the time was as efficient, which is we're implying when we hand it all those cultures. In fact, it couldn't keep up at all before itself being dismantled to make way for the Turkish national state. In the way you put it, possibly influenced by modern democratic liberalism and its pretension of tolerance, no state would have taken the trouble of assimilating cultures when it could just as well have accepted them.
It couldn´t keep up at all before being dismantled far beyond our games timeframe after the Great War. For what happened until 1820 there are several events taking care to weaken the Ottomans at a time it is approbiate. TUR loses greek and slavonic (AGCEEP) or serbian (PU) cultures in the 18th century, if going the historical path it loses latin technology and will have to fight through a lot of revolt events that split apart more and more areas the ottomans ruled and then lost.

However in the first centuries of the game - roughly until after Karlowitz and the end of the 17th century - the Ottoman Empire was first *the* most modern state and the first major power in all of Europe able to challenge any other state in Europe and win and later still a great power. "The sick man at the Bosporus" was used only in the middle of the 19th century when the decline of the ottomans continued
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sick_man_of_Europe

At the time of the fall of the last serbian despotate there were already serbians in large numbers fighting for the ottomans, e.g. a prominent member of the administration:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmud_Pasha
who was a brother of a pro-ottoman serbian noble.

Regarding cultures: In our game having a culture as accepted culture means not suffering -30% taxes and not constantly suffering +1 provincial revoltrisk - and in a war even more important: much more manpower right at the border to Austria and Hungary. As the ottoman empire in the first century of the game is supposed to steamroll over it´s neighbours and to keep those gains in the balkans until the balkan wars after our games timeframe and get full benefits in taxes and manpower from there it needs all those cultures - a player might do without them and see it as a challenge but the AI might have trouble keeping the Empire together at a time where it is supposed to still rapidly grow.
In the first centuries of the game life under ottoman rule was even considered to be more free than in most christian states where serfdom was still embraced
http://staff.lib.msu.edu/sowards/balkan/lecture3.html
 
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Therion

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The devshirme system still doesn't really justify giving TUR the cultures IMO. Christian boys were kidnapped from their families and forcefully raised as Turkish Muslims. How does this relate to the Greek and Slavic cultures being accepted by TUR? The Ottomans might have accepted people from any background but that doesn't mean they accepted their cultures of origin in and of themselves. Aspiring Janissaries had to convert to Islam and adapt to Turkish ways first. Additionally, the Janissaries were just the elite, professional branch of the army. Boy-confiscation amounted to a paltry average of one thousand a year and the Janissaries in time became stratified and hereditary. In times of warfare they were supplanted by the timariots and their levies, who must have been exclusively Turkish/Muslim given that the Christians were not allowed to bear arms. The MP system reflects the timariot system not the devshirme, which means that TUR should actually get much less MP from Christian provinces.

The Jizyah is more compelling an argument. However it can be represented by increasing the BTV of Christian provinces subject to the Porte. The last link you posted mentions how one contributing factor in the decline of the Empire had been border smuggling by Orthodox peasants and merchants. The Christians might have been subject to higher taxes but it doesn't mean they were economically integrated as much as the Ottoman administration would have liked (the 30% penalty could represent this 'inefficiency', so to speak). Also, Christians not being able to bear arms meant they had been easy prey to extorting landlords and marauding timariots and ghazis.

The last link mentions this here:

The end of conquest meant lean times for ghazis and timariots: they lost income and after 1650 were sometimes forced off their lands by Austrian or Russian armies. Deprived of their incomes, they set themselves up as local warlords or bandits in remote parts of the Balkans, too far from the capital to be forced into obedience. Instead of preying on foreign enemies, they began to prey on the peasants. Taxes and labor dues increased, local courts were intimidated or bribed, and usufruct holdings became heritable private "chiftliks" passed down in the family. No local authorities were available to enforce the law because the timariots were the only local authorities. The tax revenue stream to the center then slowed to a trickle. Officials in Istanbul went unpaid and became susceptible to bribes. In this way the collapse of the miltary feudal system soon damaged the rest of the state.
and here:

The inability to reform and improve was not confined to the military. The division of the country into Muslim and non-Muslim halves led to tension and oppression. In the new hard times, Muslims had better access to arms, political power, bribes and other ways to defend their interests. Corrupted courts allowed local landlords to rob their Christian peasants. The burden of bad times fell on non-Muslims, and the country broke into rival blocks based on the "millets."
 

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These are my thoughts. This is going to be a long reply.

Ok. Fundamentally, what was the Ottoman Empire? The Ottoman Empire was an Islamic state ruled by a Turkish dynasty which treated the Balkan peninsula of Europe as its geopolitical focal point (moving its capital to Europe by 1365), and which eventually came to portray itself as an Islamic incarnation of the Roman Empire based in the areas associated with the "Byzantine" Empire (perceived straightforwardly as the Roman state by the Ottomans and others). The "territorial core" of the Ottoman state should be considered the area which once was the Byzantine core, immediately flanking both sides of the same capital city -- in the case of such a large state as that governed by the Ottomans, we can say that its geopolitical "true core" would be the Turkish provinces of Asia Minor along with essentially the entirety of the Balkans south of the Danube and Sava Rivers (but not including the Dalmatian coast). To keep it simple, we could just say that the geopolitical core of the Ottoman Empire were those areas conceived as "Rum" and "Rumelia." The Ottomans expanded far beyond these areas of course, but everything beyond those areas was either a rather temporary gain and not a long-term Ottoman territory (in Europe: advances north of the mentioned rivers into Hungary, or attempts to take the Dalmatian coast), or encompassing territory which was of some distance from the capital and subject to a less direct rule and economic attention (this would include essentially all of the mostly Sunni Muslim areas that were held by the Ottomans outside the Balkans and Asia Minor, ie in the Arabian peninsula and North Africa and elsewhere).

ConjurerDragon brings up, I think, some very interesting points regarding the millet system and Ottoman taxation. So, yes -- the Christians in the Ottoman empire were subjected to more onerous tax policies than Muslims. Ok, what is the right way to represent that? I think a problem to consider is that the specific Islamic law millet system imposed by the Ottomans over the Balkans is, in economic organization terms, actually very different than the feudalism occurring at the same time western Europe (and the systems that developed out of that). On some of the complexities and nuances of Ottoman taxation, see http://digitalcommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1117&context=econ_wpapers This is somewhat tangly to try to describe -- to illustrate a point, let's hypothetically posit for just a moment that the meaning of the millet system implies that the Ottoman Empire should receive higher tax amounts from Christian provinces than from Muslim ones. At least one problem with that framing would be that the basic mechanics of our game wouldn't even really allow that as possible: that is, provinces of a non-state religion automatically suffer an income decrease compared to those of the state religion.

So is our basic game engine therefore fundamentally wrong toward portraying something like the Ottoman state? Actually, I think not really. That is, so then, abstractly, I think this is a way to conceive the Ottoman system over the Balkans: the Ottoman Empire was practicing, through its millet system, a unique economic system which can be actually thought of as a form of imperialism -- I use the term imperialism in a rather specific and technical economic sense, essentially the Marxian or World Systems/Dependency Theory sense, which would indicate the economic enrichment of a "metropolitan" core being dependent on the economic exploitation of a "periphery," with the relationship between those accomplished through complex socio-financial mechanisms.

Ok, this seems to be the best place to bring up my brief thoughts now also on Venice and other Latin states ruling provinces in the Balkans: We should also note the identification by some economists of Venice, during the early time period represented in this game, as essentially being the first complex modern "imperial" state (on that, Karl Marx himself charted the history of actual direct movement of the "base" of the largest capital accumulations in a straight line through history as a succession from medieval Venice to Amsterdam to London to New York; and note that important US/European banking families such as the Warburgs originally began as bankers in Venice during the early period of our game's timespan). The Venetian Republic as a finance empire had a metropolitan core at Venice which was dependent on its maritime empire of colonies (and I think at present the colonial/dependence relationship is represented well -- ie, Venice as a CoT closes and moves to Vienna after the Ottomans capture Crete, as the the financial metropolis of in Venice only maintains itself through dependence on its significant colonial empire in eastern Mediterranean Greek provinces).

Ok, since I'm on this subject, just to bring this up now: I noticed on the latest update that Venice begins only with the Venetian culture -- searching through the events, I can see one in which it loses the Greek culture, but not one in which it's ever gained, so I'm guessing that this means Venice never accepts the Greek culture at this version of the mod. I think this is an interesting and actually definitely appropriate choice. I disagree with removing Dalmatian culture from Venice however (I think this a good description of how well the Dalmatian coast integrated as a part of the Venetian Republic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmatian_Italians#Republic_of_Venice_.281420_-_1796.29). Also, I think I may have been misunderstood earlier when I discussed the Latin states not receiving Greek culture: what I specifically meant was that Epirus, Achaia, and Athens should not accept Greek culture. I think this is more historical as the Latin knights and nobility were seen by the Greeks as invaders and subjugators, and in gameplay terms this would also improve matters by making these states especially weak so that the Ottomans can topple them rapidly when the time is correct for that to occur. Weakening the Latin states of Greece also corrects a problem I have noted in that sometimes Athens, Epirus, etc will form alliances with other states who then declare war on TUR and actually in that context provide quite a challenge -- ie, in the present game representation, these states are too strong.

Back to the main issue: the notion that the Ottoman Empire was some sort of modern wonderland of multiculturalism is essentially the most extremely rosey and sympathetic interpretation possible. There are a range of interpretations on these matters among historians, and it's good to note this range of interpretations. We should also note that there are Turkish political figures today who describe the Ottoman history in such terms (the present foreign minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, has very poetically described the Balkans as achieving a unique golden age under Turkish rule). But that's far from the only interpretation.

Just as a quick display of a point of view on the other extreme, reading through this book a bit would entail viewing a sort of classic example of the negative framing of Ottoman conquest and rule over specifically the Greeks:
http://books.google.com/books?id=kg5CAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA1

Also: http://www.srpska-mreza.com/bookstore/kosovo/kosovo3.htm

So, another interpretation is that the Ottomans essentially economically destroyed the Christian areas of the Balkans in a long-term sense, and even committed a sort of near-genocide during the process of conquering those areas, and that after the conquest many people either fled Ottoman oppression by hiding in the mountains, and Ottoman control of those areas was never effective or efficient.

Here's my view: the Ottoman Empire rule over the Balkans was based on a systematic impoverishment of Christian areas, on which a relative economic prosperity of Muslim areas was based. Even if sometime the actual tax rates imposed on Christians were higher than those imposed on Muslims, the Ottoman taxation system itself and overall system of government prevented real economic development from occurring in the Christian areas. Because of the effects of the Ottoman system in economically depressing the Christian provinces, I do not think we should interpret the jizya in such a way that increases tax revenues from the Christian areas -- rather, these areas were exploited and held down in such a way that economic growth therein was stifled, and overall tax revenues should be portrayed as, over time, lower as a result.

On whether TUR should have manpower to build up armies within its border provinces, consider in the recent link posted by ConjurerDragon:
The central role of the sultan affected Ottoman military practice. By tradition, the sultan assembled one large army in Istanbul and then marched to the frontier to make war. After 1550 the sheer size of the country created geographic limitations on further growth. The army could only travel 90 to 100 days' march before it had to turn back in order to get home before winter. In 1529, the siege of Vienna could not begin until September 27 and had to be called off on October 15 to allow time for the return journey. Even if later sultans had been good generals, the size of the country limited their options. Regional armies, close to the borders, could have solved this problem, but decentralization ran counter to the dynastic principle. Once decline began, regional armies became risky centripetal forces.
So, really, a more historical framing is for the Ottomans to be forced to build up large armies near Istanbul, and for inability to build large armies in border provinces to limit Ottoman expansion.

I have a few other thoughts on gameplay representations of the Ottoman Empire, and will try to post again later today on those subjects.
 

Therion

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Ok, since I'm on this subject, just to bring this up now: I noticed on the latest update that Venice begins only with the Venetian culture -- searching through the events, I can see one in which it loses the Greek culture, but not one in which it's ever gained, so I'm guessing that this means Venice never accepts the Greek culture at this version of the mod. I think this is an interesting and actually definitely appropriate choice. I disagree with removing Dalmatian culture from Venice however (I think this a good description of how well the Dalmatian coast integrated as a part of the Venetian.
Venice not having Dalmatian was an omission from my part. It was previously given from the start whereas I wanted to give it by event after the capture of Dalmatia. There might be other instances of omissions.

Also, I think I may have been misunderstood earlier when I discussed the Latin states not receiving Greek culture: what I specifically meant was that Epirus, Achaia, and Athens should not accept Greek culture.
You weren't misunderstood. I just haven't gone through that yet. The last updates were performed before these discussions.
 

ConjurerDragon

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Therion said:
...
The end of conquest meant lean times for ghazis and timariots: they lost income and after 1650 were sometimes forced off their lands by Austrian or Russian armies. Deprived of their incomes, they set themselves up as local warlords or bandits in remote parts of the Balkans, too far from the capital to be forced into obedience. Instead of preying on foreign enemies, they began to prey on the peasants. Taxes and labor dues increased, local courts were intimidated or bribed, and usufruct holdings became heritable private "chiftliks" passed down in the family. No local authorities were available to enforce the law because the timariots were the only local authorities. The tax revenue stream to the center then slowed to a trickle. Officials in Istanbul went unpaid and became susceptible to bribes. In this way the collapse of the miltary feudal system soon damaged the rest of the state.
I agree with that - 1650 and further the decline of the ottoman empire already showing it´s first signs. I find it is quite well simulated by the events in AGCEEP that are used in PU, too, e.g. TUR301105 and TUR 301107 that weaken the economy of the ottomans at the approbiate time.

...
On whether TUR should have manpower to build up armies within its border provinces, consider in the recent link posted by ConjurerDragon:

So, really, a more historical framing is for the Ottomans to be forced to build up large armies near Istanbul, and for inability to build large armies in border provinces to limit Ottoman expansion.
...
The ottomans gathered their main invasion army around the seat of the Sultan who then marched it to war (or later the Wezier in the name of the Sultan during the 2nd siege of Vienna). However that force was not the only military force available to the ottomans. There were considerable defensive forces stationed at the borders that were recruited in large parts from the provinces and not Anatolia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buda_Province,_Ottoman_Empire#Military
that during the years of expansion waged a constant small war with numerous border raids against neighbouring christian countries
 

Card. Contarini

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This thread has been inactive for months but I thought I'd make several suggestions, some of them which would necessarily involve significant changes to the mod and might be considered somewhat ambitious (so it's unclear whether they could be considered for any sort of immediate implementation, or even whether this specific mod is the right place for the changes I'm proposing, although I think PV presents the best contemporary opportunity for anything like a "total overhaul" mod of FTG, which may actually be a necessary project at this point):

I have designed new maps covering most of the territories associated with the Ottoman Empire in this game's time span; these were based on what I perceive as the specific gameplay design principles embodied in the WATK map and variants (which is very superior to MyMap); I should note that my own life course has been haphazard in recent months (the US is experiencing a worse set of economic and political crises than is usually acknowledged, which gives one somewhat less time for these sort of things -- police state in Texas is very bad and you can follow the news about cases involving hackers and dissidents; at least there are interesting power dynamics to observe with experience regarding that possibly being relevant to strategy game design) but I'd hope to have the time to myself possibly help implement some of these changes if I could be directed toward explanations on map editing and software necessary for that, etc.

My thought is that we have a tremendous template map to work with, but relatively small changes can be made that could vastly improve possibilities for gameplay and historical representation. I think, overall, we do not represent the total complexity and richness of Ottoman history in terms proportionate to the type of level of detail provided to the western empires; partially this, I think, involves unique and unusual aspects of the Ottoman regime which involve more thought and nuance toward representing in a game such as this. In this post I'm really mostly going to be discussing some of the changes I have in mind regarding the map, but those are basically the most core or fundamental changes I'm proposing upon which to essentially rebuild the entire Ottoman experience in this mod as a more compelling game representation of history.

I would recommend the removal of the following provinces: Aquilea, Cephalonia, Lauenburg, and Messina.

Rationale behind removal of each: Aquilea and Cephalonia are actually game imbalancing in that they tend to impose the continued existence of and even geopolitical importance of very small states which in reality disappeared in the first decades of our game's timespan. Patriarchate of Aquilea (the city-state) should begin with one province (Friuli) and if/when Venice conquers that (which should almost always happen), they're out of the game. Patriarchate of Aquilea lost temporal authority in 1420, basically meaning they were a geopolitical non-factor (although maintaining an ecclesiastical existence) for 399 of the 400 years represented in our game.

Cephalonia very often leaves us with a state of Despotate of Epirus relatively far into the game -- I've seen it actually exist through the entire game more than once, and that should seem really absurd. In reality Ottoman conquest of territories of the Tocco family was gradual over early decades of our game's timeframe but would probably be better represented by changing the core received by Ottomans over Epirus in correspondence with that over time (I should note that I think many cases of timing regarding when Ottomans receive cores can stand to be improved, anyway, but again this would require significantly reworking many events); ie, Ottomans receive a cb core on Epirus in 1429, a claim core in 1449, and a national core in 1479 -- this represents how much power the Tocco family was maintaining in their territories over time vis-a-vis the Ottomans. After Ottomans take mainland Epirus by 1450, continued Tocco existence over several small islands should not be geopolitically overrepresented by giving them an entire very strategically-placed province which often sees them function semi-importantly within anti-Ottoman alliances.

Specifically the map of Epirus and Corfu provinces I'm proposing:
View attachment 70908

Cephalonia and Aquilea, that is, are provinces which actually harm gameplay (as a realistic representation of history) when implemented as at present on our map. I have less negative overall assessments of the impact of Lauenburg and Messina, but I think in both cases we can axe those provinces with either no harm to gameplay and game balance or extremely limited and negligible imbalancing which would be more than offset by improved balance and game design through added provinces elsewhere.

Here are the maps; The images I'm posting were hand-drawn/traced and scanned and so should be viewed as roughblueprints for what I'm proposing. --

Balkan region:
View attachment 70907

To properly represent the history of the Ottoman Empire, Venice, Hungary, and Austria in the 1419-1819 period and treat the Balkan quadrant of Europe exactly as respectfully as we treat other parts of Europe, I'm proposing adding the following provinces: Salonika, Cattaro, Belgrade, Syrmia. I can at least note that Cattaro and Syrmia are provinces included in MyMap and Salonika and Belgrade were proposed for inclusion in Watk4. Removing Cephalonia and Aquilea basically then gives us a net addition of two provinces to the Ottoman-Venetian sphere (at the cost of Lauenburg and Messina).

I feel it's not really possibly to properly represent geopolitical power in the Balkan region without these changes to the map. Fully explaining how these changes would improve gameplay for the Ottoman Empire and other states in this geopolitical sphere would require a more lengthy post, which I could attempt in the near future.

Syria and Iraq:
View attachment 70909

Jordan is removed; Amman is not really a "province" in this game's time frame (it would be more justifiable to include Kuwait than Jordan, although I would definitely not advocate inclusion of either) and should be seen as a city in the periphery of Damascus and within the Syria province. Jordan is replaced on this map by a new province in Iraq, Dulaim (which should have its capital as Fallujah). This decreases the distance Ottomans need to travel to reach Mecca and Medina and increases distance to Basra, basically I think bringing both cases more in line with appropriate balanced representation. Dulaim creates a Sunni province in Iraq which is demographically significant to represent.

If an additional province were for some reason really desired in greater Syria area, that could be Latakia as a Shia coastal province, but I'd estimate that might be game imbalancing at least on our present map and also I think having a Catholic Lebanon which OE never receives a national core over already effectively symbolizes (in game terms) the presence of religious minorities and semi-'vassal' subregimes in the coastal areas of greater Syria. More basically what I'm going for is that Syria should be relatively easier for the Ottomans to manage and Iraq relatively more complicated.

I also have maps of Egypt and Algeria-Tunisia-Libya region which involve no net additions to province number, and would work as simply better representations of historical spatial-political realities of the time frame of our game which I believe would improve game play experience, which I could post if the changes I've already discussed sound worth pursuing. (I also have created new maps of Morocco and Ethiopia, each of those cases involving a net addition of one province, although I do not have copies of those maps with me at present).
 
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