Into the Renaissance – Mehmet the Conqueror Steam Achievement Guide

Into the Renaissance – Turks Strategy (Deity)

Istanbul, Turkey 2014-08-25
Historic city center of Istanbul

In late August 2014 I was on holidays in Turkey. Istanbul totally fascinated me: It amazingly combines ancient times and modernity. Not only have I decided to come back to Istanbul and Turkey in real life, but I also had to play the Turks in the Into the Renaissance scenario as soon as I got home!

Mehmet the Conqueror

Unlocked: 8 Sep @ 7:40am

As the Turks, conquer Istanbul on Deity in the Into the Renaissance scenario.

To make this Steam Achievement for Civilization 5, you’ll have to conquer Constantinople (Istanbul) while playing the Turks (historically correct actually the Ottoman Empire) on the highest level of difficulty (Deity). Beware: You only have to capture Constantinople – you can lose it again in the very same turn! The achievement triggers, once one of your units enters Constantinople. The guide below will show not only that, but also how to win the Into the Renaissance scenario on Deity difficulty.

Mehmet the Conqueror – First steps

Social policies: Select Liberty – go for a worker (Citizenship) and then head for the free settler (Republic -> Collective Rule). There’s probably other first choices that will work, too. Choosing the Liberty tree is mainly to:

  • improve the land around Aleppo quickly
  • not have to BUILD more workers
  • speed up settler production

With the above kicked off, you should produce a scout to seek spots to found cities. My priority after this is on pumping out a small army as quickly as possible. Build another swordsman immediately, followed by 2 catapults and 2 composite bowmen.

Technological Research

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Turks Deity Technology head for Gunpowder
Civil Service – Guilds – Metal Casting – Machinery
  1. Civil Service – Pikemen are a welcome improvement and help defending Sinai, but more importantly, more food next to rivers makes your first cities grow faster.
  2. Guilds – Your economy is not worth a dime, you’ll need some trading posts and ideally National Treasury
  3. Metal Casting – to build workshops
  4. Machinery – to finally build Crossbowmen

Now one might argue it makes sense to first head for Machinery, to have Crossbowmen even earlier. Instead you should go for Metal Casting first. WHILE you’re researching Machinery, you can already build the workshops in the other cities. This way you’ll get to build Ironworks in Aleppo ASAP. The moment you research Machinery – immediately start building Ironworks in Aleppo.

  1. Steel – Longswordsmen are more important than Trebuchets
  2. Physics – only as a necessary prerequisite to head for
  3. Gunpowder – finally you’ll be able to build your Janissaries!!! But we’ll come to that later.

Founding Cities & improving tiles

In turn 7 I founded Edirne, my 2nd city, south of Aleppo on the way to Jerusalem. Now: If in the mountains NE of Aleppo there are floodplains – settle there first! With floodplains that city will grow quickly and be able to mine surrounding hills. This production will contribute greatly towards building your first army. However without floodplains (or wheat resources) the city won’t produce much until you reach Civil Service. Anyway: The hills in the NE should become home to your 3rd city latest (I founded Ankara there in turn 40).

DON’T ever build a city at the coast! The Mediterranean will be “flooded” with enemy ships soon. Your won’t have the capabilities to deal with that (yet).

Now no matter where your 2nd city is – start building a road to Jerusalem!!! You don’t need your troops wasting turns on their way – sometimes it’s only one battle until you loose it. You don’t want them to spend 3/4 of their lifespan on the way to battle.

Turks on Deity – Conquer Jerusalem fast!

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Turks Deity first try overwhelmed
Ayyubid army at my doorstep

I can’t stress too much, how important it is to capture Jerusalem! It not only grants you VP (as I understand the scenario rules), but also blocks the Ayyubids from advancing into the Middle East. In my first Deity attempt I didn’t go for Istanbul only to end up with a giant Ayyubid army right at my front door. By the time I had 3 cities, 2 workers and 2 swordsmen, they marched on me with several swordsmen, horsemen and catapults.

So in my successful game I captured Jerusalem first thing. The “army” I brought was:

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Turks Deity Second try capture Jerusalem early
Capturing Jerusalem in turn 23

2 Swordsmen
2 Composite Bowmen
2 Catapults

Bring your units in place before declaring war, as you’ll always do anyways. I declared on Jerusalem in turn 21 and captured it in turn 23 without losing any of them!

Another reason this is important is, on Deity difficulty the Ayyubids pump out masses of units already very early. Sinai peninsula is the only place you can channelize those units and defend against them in a narrow spot. Also: As long as you have peace, but NEVER open borders, they can’t settle more cities in the middle east.

Diplomacy in the Middle East – Secure peace while you’re weak

Again, quite similar to the Scramble for Africa, the AIs diplomacy is slightly flawed: They don’t like to start a new war, while they’re already fighting one. Use this. Otherwise you won’t be able to:

Avoid a two-front war

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Turks Deity Two-front War
Fighting a two-front war in turn 61

At turn 29 I declared war on Byzantium, while they were coming for me with Christian Orthodox missionaries. I brought some units of my Jerusalem army up and defended against the units they sent after me. Not long after that Saladin of the Ayyubids declared war on me. Not able to fight on both fronts just yet, I soon lost Jerusalem.

I reloaded and bribed Saladin (of the Ayyubids) against Theodora (Byzantium) in turn 33. That’s particularly easy, because they don’t share the same religion. Their war lasted until turn 49, without Saladin sending one single unit across the sea. So both of them amassed units, while only Byzantium sent some in range of my Composite Bowmen. One turn after they made peace, Saladin declared war on me, marching on Jerusalem in turn 50.

Clever diplomacy will always buy you some time, but war is inevitable. When it comes you should:

  • have built some more units to defend Sinai peninsula
  • improved your infrastructure around your first 3 cities, so your production can compensate your losses
  • be allied (or have captured) Mecca, so they can’t backstab you
    (I didn’t do this early, but I’d recommend capturing it – I was allied with Mecca, but the Almohads took that from me. After twice claiming it back for 500 Gold (ouch!) I declared war on them in turn 100 only so they’d be at war with Mecca. You can avoid this by capturing Mecca early.)

Profitable wars against Europeans

In turn 43 Elizabeth sent Catholic missionaries into the holy land. I captured and disbanded them, trusting that England won’t be able to send troops into the holy land. This proved a good decision, because in turn 49 I was offered a peace treaty making more than 700 Gold!

Later Sweden and Mongolia declared war on me together (turn 80). I never saw a Swedish unit and as the Mongols only appear in turn 40, they did NOT send anything down the Caucasus either. Somewhat in the 90ies I made peace with Sweden getting 4,183 Gold!!!

Research Agreements

A prerequisite for Research Agreements are Declarations of Friendship. You won’t get those with non-Muslim nations. Another reason to capture Mecca, so the Almohads can be your friends. Fortunately I at least got 2 Research Agreements with Russia – they really loved me because “We fought together against a common foe.”, the Mongols.

So clear recommendation: Maintain some friendships and always save a bit of money for research agreements!

Social Policies – Keep the people happy!

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Turks Deity Social Policies
Liberty is essential for your expanding empire
  1. First go for the free worker (Citizenship)
  2. Then head for the free settler (Republic -> Collective Rule) in the Liberty tree
  3. After that I chose Legalism (Tradition tree) to get free culture buildings in the first cities. Doing this later is not effective anymore. Doing it when you only have one city isn’t either.
  4. Finish the Liberty tree.
  5. Improve melee production and XP gain with the left side of the Honor tree,
  6. Then finish the Honor tree for Happiness from defensive buildings. The Gold from unit kills will improve your economy dramatically!

Now, back to (war-)business:

The Anatolian Campaign – Mehmet the Conqueror

Actually Mehmed the Conqueror is spelled with a ‘d’. Not sure why Firaxis chose this name for the achievement. Maybe their “Mehmet the Conqueror” should resemble “me met the conqueror”? Anyway: Here’s the course of my conquest of Anatolia playing the Turks on Deity. In parallel I conquered parts of Northern Africa, but separated this into the “Northern African Campaign” section below.

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Mehmet the Conqueror Defend Anatolia
This early a few units are enough to defend

Since turn 29 I was at war with Byzantium. That early they don’t send many units, but better leave a scout (to scout) and some more units in defensible positions in central Anatolia. Kill what you can already, so they can’t amass units there.

Byzantium will advance quickly into that area, settling it. I didn’t mind the south coast – you don’t want cities there anyway, because of the European navies. Also Byzantium is only building ships there, who won’t harm you.

Found a city on the lonely hill by the river in central Anatolia.

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Mehmet the Conqueror Byzantium offense
Defend there with everything you got

For me that was Bursa (my 4th city). By then it comes to balancing between military armament and settling. But you must not leave even bigger parts of Turkey to Byzantium. I pumped out one more settlers and rushed it to found Konya (5th city, turn 70) at the coast of the Black Sea.

In turn 93 I made peace with Byzantium allowing me to:

  • further upgrade my military
  • buy tiles from Bursa and expand my borders further to Nicomedia using a Great General
  • build another settler who founded Samsun (my 6th city, 1 tile inland of the coast of the Black Sea)
Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Mehmet the Conqueror Storm Nicomedia
March on Nicomedia

Luck was on my side, because in turn 102 Austria had declared war on Theodora. Could be I bribed them (hard to tell in retrospective, but you should definitely try that). With Byzantine troops bound in the west there was little resistance in Anatolia. In turn 104 I declared war again and captured Nicomedia in turn 106.

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Mehmet the Conqueror block Caucasus
Sealing of the neck of the Caucasus

Around that time my happiness allowed me to build one more city, Gaziantep (7th city), in Northeast Anatolia, sealing off the land towards the Mongols.

The Turkish Unique Units

Sipahi Janissary
The Sipahi has one more Movement Point than horsemen or lancers. This makes them ideal to capture enemy cities from behind your lines. You can cross for example 2 hills and still have one movement point to capture a city. Also you can move behind enemy lines and attack siege units or archers to support your offense. The backbone of the Turkish army is the Janissary. It’s unique ability is amazing: Whenever you kill an enemy unit with a Janissary, it heals by 50 HP! Given you have enough ranged units behind your front lines you can always half kill the enemy units and finish them with a half-dead Janissary, only to find your Janissary fully healed!!!

The Turkish Unique Ability – Barbary Corsairs

All melee naval units have the Prize Ships promotion, allowing them to capture defeated ships. Pay only one-third the usual cost for naval unit maintenance.
The Turks unique ability seems like the necessary negative balance to your very useful unique units. These traits are not very useful in this game, as you’ll only have a fleet very late in the game (if at all).

Basic tactics – pioneers, rotating and healing your units

When I see “Let’s Plays” of Civ 5 on Youtube I sometimes wonder: People rarely apply my tactics for warfare, although some small things make life so much easier (in my opinion). Here’s my two points:

Build Roads

When going to war – bring some workers! At least 2, maximum 4-5 depending on your economy and the width of your front line. First: Build roads on your side of the border! This allows you to:

  • move siege units 2 fields, set up and still fire in the same turn
  • move veteran archers (with logistics!!!) 2 fields and still fire 2 times in the same turn
  • rotate your units faster, extract dying veterans (and rookies that can be saved without losing veterans)

Those roads are a drain to your economy, but it’s worth it. It helps keeping losses low and in general increases your flexibility to respond to the AIs moves.

Pillage, Heal and Repair

Always move a worker with your front line melee units. This allows you to move in position (where your unit will be under heavy attack) and in the next turn pillage for +25HP and heal +10HP. Now have your worker repair the improvement. The first turn you can even pillage again for +25HP thus healing your unit in one turn for 60HP! In enemy territory!!! A unit with Cover can survive heavy fire when backed up with a pioneer (as I call my front line workers).


With a giant army you can be very offensive of course. On Deity difficulty it’s very unlikely you’ll have the biggest army. So defend. Garrison your units, have them heal at least 10HP every turn, while your enemy attacks. If you can’t extract your unit or have a fresh one to take it’s place – leave it there and draw as much enemy fire as possible. Don’t waste them attacking stronger units only to die or even worse: be almost dead on that tile unable to move – this will open your ranged units to counter attacks!

Using the above tactics I flooded the plains at Adrianople and captured it in turn 114. Extending my borders to 2 tiles before Constantinople it was plain to see where the siege-citadel had to go. Leaving one tile between the coast and Constantinople my citadel pushed the border directly to the city walls. Both the hilly landscape and the forest next to Constantinople come handy: Ranged units can’t fire across those (unless placed on a hill themselves).

Building roads allowed my promoted Crossbowmen to get in range, fire once or twice and get out of the danger zone again. For the sake of killing the Byzantine navy around their capitol I sacrificed some newbie-Crossbowmen. Now it’s only a matter of time until you reach the Steam Achievement: Bombard Constantinople often and long enough, defend against Byzantine units and sooner or later, you’ll become “Mehmet the Conqueror”!

I captured Constantinople in turn 126. What happened then was new to me: I lost it again. Six times. It got captured and recaptured in turn 126, 127, 128. In turn 129 I held it one turn. Same in 132. In turn 134 I finally conquered Constantinople for good. Overall it changed sides 13 times.

Two important things about that:

  1. When the city is recaptured (“liberated”), so are all immediately surrounding tiles! So if you built a citadel right next to the city – this will belong to your opponent now, dealing 30 DMG each turn your unit stays on a tile next to or on it!
    So never build a citadel right next to the city unless you’re sure to always be able to conquer it back.
  2. The tiles your side of Istanbul are hills. Keep that in mind when ending a turn and chances are high you’ll lose it (or any other city). Even with roads you’ll need horsemen to reconquer the city, crossing those hills! Place them on a tile from where you can reach the city and retreat behind your lines to heal your horseman.

Advancing west I still encountered heavy Byzantine resistance. Tyana, at the north coast of the Aegean got captured the first time in turn 143. I only had it for good in turn 173!!! That’s 30 turns later during which it got conquered and liberated 21 times!!! I tried to visualize that here:

Turn 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153
Turks city-capture-red-50 city-capture-red-50 city-capture-red-50 city-capture-red-50 city-capture-red-50 city-capture-red-50
Byzantine city-capture-blue-50 city-capture-blue-50 city-capture-blue-50 city-capture-blue-50 city-capture-blue-50
Turn 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164
Turks city-capture-red-50 city-capture-red-50
Byzantine city-capture-blue-50 city-capture-blue-50 city-capture-blue-50
Turn 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173
Turks city-capture-red-50 city-capture-red-50 city-capture-red-50
Byzantine city-capture-blue-50 city-capture-blue-50

Now you don’t only want to make the Mehmet the Conqueror Steam Achievement. You’ll want to win that scenario. By then it’ll probably take some more VP to achieve that.

Advancing into the Balkans I realized Nicaea was a city of 31!!! Means 15 after capture – a huge impact on happiness and 15 turns of resistance rendering the city useless. I captured it (15), let it be liberated (7) and took it again, getting a nice small city of 3. The rest is pretty straightforward: Repeat the same strategy, build roads and overwhelm the Byzantine troops.

Greece and the Aegean got incorporated into my empire in turn 174 and 178 when I captured Bari in Northern Greece and Ani, the island in the middle of the sea. Ani got captured and liberated 9 times. Here you gotta make sure to always have 1 melee unit embarked and in range or a melee naval unit in range of the city to recapture it. Conquering the Balkans with the Sardica (turn 170) and Nicopolis (turn 176) gave me plenty of border towards Austria. In the beginning they even were afraid of me, although they had the much more “pointier sticks”.

Being on good terms with Russia and having an open borders agreement tempted them to found a city in the middle of East Anatolia. As they blocked my road to the Caucasus, that city had to go: In turn 173 I declared war on Russia and captured and razed Kursk two turns later. Always pay some attention to Mongolian troop movements near your Caucasian border – in turn 174 they built a citadel there and brought 3 (!!!) more Great Generals.

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Mehmet the Conqueror Mongolian threat
Take down those Generals!

Before they could plaster the area with citadels I declared on them, killed 2 undefended and 1 defended Great Generals and built a citadel next to theirs, so I had two citadels in the Caucasus. In turn 183 Ulaanbaatar fell, as did Dalandzadgad in turn 191. Before the game ended I made peace with the Mongols in turn 198. Not because it was necessary, but rather because I couldn’t wait to win the scenario.

The last 30 turns, starting in the 170ies I was fighting at 3 fronts: In the Balkans, the Caucasus and Northern Africa. To compensate the (inevitable) losses (of newbie units) make sure, you’ll produce at leat 3-4 new units per turn and spread them evenly in all directions.

Now I couldn’t end the game with Byzantine cities remaining on my “subcontinent” Anatolia: Stopping the offense at Danube river, I defended there with a small army of veterans and mostly newbies. Most veterans took the west coast of modern Turkey (Antioch, turn 187) and the south coast (Iconium and Dyrrhachium, turn 199) as well as the Greek mainland (Samosata, turn 199). Making peace with Byzantium then, I demanded Gaza in south east Anatiolia, north of Cyprus and quite close my capital.

The Northern African Campaign – Suleiman the Magnificent

This section carries the name of Suleiman I, the Magnificent, although the incorporation of Northern Africa, at least from Egypt to Tunisia, into the Ottoman Empire wasn’t his main campaign. Nonetheless this expansion happened during his rule, so it fits best after all.

The positions for citadels in Sinai and Cairo depend on the factors: Coverage of land and accessibility. On Sinai you want to cover most of the coastal tiles in the north so disembarking units (which can’t move anymore that turn) get 30 DMG straight away. Besieging Cairo you’ll want a citadel 1 tile next to a river, so units crossing that river get the damage and can’t pillage your citadel.

The citadel of Sinai was placed in turn 58. 11 turns later Alexandria got captured. For Cairo this took much longer: Citadel in turn 76 but Cairo only fell in turn 138. This was mainly due to the fact that I operated with a very small army, always protecting the veterans and compensating for the few losses with new units. North Africa is not part of the achievement after all.

The rest of the Ayyubid cities fell continuously until at the end of the game, Saladin and the Ayyubids were no more: Dvin (147), Aswan (154), Ba’albek (157-160), Zabid (165), Bilbais (172) and Yanbu (178) brought me to the Libyan Sea. By then the Ayyubid army was non-existent and it was only a matter of placing units around cities and capturing them (Crossbowmen with Logistics and Range could even shoot with out being fired at).

Capturing Medina (182), Sana’a (186), Aden (189) as well as Ta’izz and Eindhoven (194) led to the annihilation of the Ayyubids!

Playing the Turks – Beyond Victory

Unlike most other scenarios for Civilization 5, in “Into the Renaissance” you can click everybodys favorite button: “Just one more turn” and continue playing the game even after you won (or lost) the scenario.

So playing the Turks I was tempted to conquer Vienna, which in reality never happened. There’s been several sieges and the famous Battle of Vienna, but the Ottoman Empire never captured it. I captured it in 1641 (turn 223)!

I won’t bore you with a detailed guide here, mainly because if you made it this far, you can conquer central Europe, Russia or Spain without any guidance. But here’s some images of my fleet closing in on Corsica and my empire stretching until central Germany (Wittenberg, birthplace of Protestantism).

13 thoughts on “Into the Renaissance – Mehmet the Conqueror Steam Achievement Guide”

  1. I imagine the rest of the world has moved on to Civ 6, but I’m still plugging away at those last few Civ 5 achievements. My Spring Break vacation starts today, and I started vacation by finally getting this achievement!

    Building roads on the front lines was the crucial factor for me. My Anatolia is practically coated with roads. I’m surprised that Byzantium completely ignored my workers and let them build roads in their territory unprotected.

    I spammed trebuchets and had them lined up south of Constantinople so that even though I lost one each turn, I still managed to wear down Constantinople’s city defenses with 63 turns remaining.

    I gleefully renamed it Istanbul. Honestly, I think the achievement should have been for renaming the city, not for conquering it. 🙂

    Only six achievements left, but they’re some of the hardest. Off to review your other achievement guides now!

    1. Haha, nice! First of all: Congratz on making the achievement!
      Second: Civ5 is by far not abandoned. Quite the opposite: On today’s Steam stats it’s still the #35 most played game, with around half the # of peak concurrent players of Civ6:
      #18 48,040 Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
      #35 22,586 Sid Meier’s Civilization V

      And if you’re looking for some single player and yet multiplayer experience, I can only recommend playing easygoing Civilization 5 Multiplayer Games using the GIANT MULTIPLAYER ROBOT. Join the discord here:

  2. Well the achievement is called Mehmet to Conqueror because in Turkish, there is no name like Mehmed but there is Mehmet. I mean Mehmed is actually Mehmet originally. Like “Suleiman” being “Süleyman”, “Seljuk” being “Selçuk” or even from old Turkish names, “Oghuz Khagan” being “O?uz Ka?an” “Istämi” being “?stemi” and “Genghis” being “Cengiz”. There is too much examples of this. Its because of how old people spelled these names. I hope I made it clear for you 🙂

  3. I’ll try a “world conquest” after hitting one more turn. I want to ser how difficult that will be.

  4. Hi, thanks you for this nice guide.
    It helped me a lot in my Deity game with the Turks, even if I finished second behind the Bizantines.
    But I decided to hit the “one more turn” button and I eventually captured Constantinople during turn 214… which still gave me the achievement!
    My next game will be with England. I guess that The Lionheart achievement follows the same rule and can also be earned after turn 199.

    1. Hey Julien! That’s super interesting – getting the achievement after turn 199?!?! Nice one! Let everyone know if it works for England, too 🙂 And good luck!

  5. Thank you so much for your in-depth guides. I just made the Mehmet the Conqueror achievement last night, SO satisfying. Couldn’t have done it without your advice, especially the one with the workers building roads on the front lines. My first several attempts went downhill quickly, but in my current game, I didn’t see a single Ayyubid unit until turn 80! Also, the Byzantines only founded two cities in Turkey, making for an easy conquest. I was having trouble besieging Constantinople with the Byzantine fleet of Galleasses bombarding everything in sight, but once I got Janissaries, the city didn’t stand a chance. One amazing/annoying thing about that map was there wasn’t a single horse tile in the entire middle east, meaning no Sipahis without trading, which was a bummer. With 70 turns to go, I look forward to spreading my empire into Europe! Anyway, thanks for a great series of guides; It would be nice if you could publish one on the New World scenarios.

    1. Hey NateR! Thanks for the flowers 🙂
      I admire your perseverence! Without a single horse I would have probably restarted. But then again: If the game worked out for you, that’s great! New World is basically last on my list (because there’s so many factions). I’ll go for Wonders of the Ancient first.

  6. I’m a little afraid that if I look at your Rhye’s stuff I’ll fall back into that for a very long time 😉

    1. Haha, yes, the reason the last Rhye’s guides are not very detailed is actually that I uninstalled it, to focus only on Civilization V Scenarios! Otherwise I would always find something to improve and try again and again and again.

  7. Hey, Kalle. Just dropping in to say I’ve really been enjoying your guides. I play at a lower difficulty, but I’m still using lots of your tips.

    I found your pioneers concept to be really powerful. And something I don’t think you mentioned above that is also great about it is how fast you can move on to the next fight.

    1. Hi SWM,
      thanks for the compliment! It’s great to know people are enjoying the guides and that they’re useful.
      Also thanks for the addition: You’re right, moving on to the next target also saves precious time 🙂

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