The Ottomans or the Ottoman Empire was a state of Turkish origin which attained the status of great power in Europe in Early Modern Time (1300-1923 AD). At the peak of their might from the mid sixteenth to the the late seventeenth century, they controlled modern day Turkey, the Balkans, parts of the Middle East and much of the North African coast. The Ottomans did not conquer or colonize the New World although there are some highly disputable claims that they tried to take some minor areas in the Caribbean. The Ottomans never achieved its status as a maritime power due to constant challenges from other Western civilizations and its geographic location.
The Ottomans also have more unique units than any other civilization in the game. The Ottomans can also build the Artillery Foundry in age II, which is before any other civilizations, giving them earlier access to their artillery. They are the only Civilization besides the Chinese that can build Artillery other than the Grenadier in Colonial Age. They only possess one infantry unit: the Janissary, a unit that functions similar to the Musketeer but is stronger. They also possess the powerful cavalry unit, Spahi, a heavy cavalry unit wielding a mace. They upgrade automatically with each age. Spahi can only be obtained at most 22 units from the home city.
The Ottoman Empire is considered to be the most difficult civilization to play in Age of Empires III.