Scramble for Africa – Ottoman Carpentry Steam Achievement Guide

Ottoman Carpentry Steam AchievementHere’s a strategy guide that will help you to win the Scramble for Africa Scenario for Civilization 5 playing as the Ottomans on Deity and getting the “Ottoman Carpentry” steam achievement.

If you survive the first 20 turns and established your base, Ottoman Carpentry is big fun and really straight forward: You have it in your hands – reinforce the fleet, conquer Ethiopia, drain gold from Egypt, it’s all up to you! Here’s how I did it:

Scramble for Africa – Setting

In this scenario there’s three different “factions”, listed below. Every faction has a different way to score for Victory Points (VP) and thus comes with different strategies.


During the Scramble for Africa Europeans can not declare war on each other. That means they will declare war on most African civilizations and be at war with at least 1 civ at any time.

  • Italy is your main opponent, will declare war on you very early and is THE biggest threat to your first three – all coastal – cities.
  • France is your direct neighbor to the west, Algiers being his capital, and can be an annoyance during the first turns.
  • Germany depending on the quality of the central African land will settle SW of you, threatening your coal-cities.
  • Belgium remains limited to central Africa. It should be no threat to you, but you might need to pass his territory to take out Ethiopia.
  • England plays only a minor role for you in this game – you will eventually take out some ships and capture Gibraltar.
  • Portugal, although extremely powerful, will be a South African power in this game. His fleet will be yours, as will Lisbon.

Europeans score for land (double), cities and population.

Sub-Saharan Civs

The Sub-Saharan Civs score for culture. They can declare war on each other, but this is of absolutely no relevance for your Northern African dominance.

  • The Boers will be long extinct by England and you probably won’t ever meet them.
  • The Zulu might send a scout north, but will also have been overwhelmed by England and Portugal without ever playing a role in your game.
  • Ethiopia deserves an extra paragraph. See below.

Northern African Civs

The Northern African Civs receive VP for Gold per Turn (GPT) and can not declare war on each other.

  • Morocco will be your best friend. He’s under constant fire by France and England pushing from the south and thus keeping the Europeans at bay. Don’t let him die! Later in the game you might want to anchor your fleet in its waters, so Europeans can’t attack him from sea and/or capture Agadir.
  • Egypt is a strong competitor for score – especially since there’s no enemy except Italy (which will come for you first). Furthermore it has an incredible GPT output! You’ll need to weaken him early, to make it in the end.


If you have played this scenario before, you will know: Ethiopia is your enemy #1 in terms of score. It scores for culture like the other Sub-Saharan civs but is placed in very well defensible land and is impregnable to Europeans. This is

  1. because they’re unable to launch a proper attack with more units than Ethiopia kills each turn,
  2. because the Mehal Sefari, Ethiopias unique unit, is a real tank, starting with Drill 1 (+15% combat bonus in rough terrain),
  3. because the Social Politics grant Ethiopia a huge defensive bonus (+15% in their territory and another +15% for an adjacent friendly unit),
  4. because of Ethiopias unique power granting them a +20% combat bonus against a larger civ aaaaand finally
  5. because probably 2 natural wonders will be in his territory: Source of Nile river (granting a promotion that causes its units to heal at the double rate) and Mt. Kilimanjaro (granting a promotion that gives its units +10% combat bonus and double movement in hills).

Have you counted? Doesn’t matter: They’re damn hard to kill. You will do it anyway eventually.

Ottoman Carpentry

General strategy

You need to weaken Egypt, take out Italy and Ethiopia and make loads of money to win. All of this is possible. The strategy in the second half of the game is to take cities and sell them to either Morocco or Egypt. The general rule here is: If the city is right beside the players main land – you’ll get more GPT. If the city had been a capital before – you’ll get more GPT. The latter will be the case with Algiers (France), Palermo (Italy), Lisbon (Portugal) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Ottoman Deity Statistics GPT
Here’s the final “GPT from Deals” statistics from my winning game. 965 GPT peak! That’s only deals! Trade routes and gold produced by cities count on top of that.

First steps

project_mercy wrote an excellent strategy guide on which I altered slightly to end up with these first steps below:

Turn 0

  • Tripoli Cargo ship -> Bengazi for production of a settler (8 turns)
  • Tripoli Caravan -> Tunis for production of a settler (10 turns)
  • Bengazi Caravan -> Tripoli for production (you might want to send this somewhere for gold, but your loss will be equalized by incoming caravans, so take this additional production)
  • Tripoli builds a stable and rifled cannon
  • Sipahis scout the surrounding
    • 1 slightly SW as far as you would found a city, then turn East
    • 1 heads directly SE towards Ethiopia (if you’re fast enough depending on the terrain, you can attack at least one settler before they found their 4th (or so) city
  • Send your riflemen to the French (Algerian) border and fortify them.
  • Your worker should start building a road south

Turn 1

Germany and France DOW on me. This might seem bad, but preventing France from destroying Morocco is a good thing. I would even recommend declaring war on France early every time to achieve this.

Turn 10

Portugal and Belgium DOW on me (leaving Italy and England as the only peaceful Europeans). This is not bad at all, since you will never see any units from them.

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Ottoman Deity Turn 10

Turn 11

England declares on me, so I bribe Italy against Egypt. In this scenario there’s a diplomatic flaw in how the Europeans behave. Although overly powerful they don’t like to declare war alone – and while being at war with everyone already, Italy lacks a partner!

Turn 16-17

Found Sabha and Tobruk south of the Sahara, to finally get coal and some luxuries. Either city should be right ON the coal, so you can build ironclads!

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Ottoman Deity Inland Cities
Two cities providing coal. Tobruk even has the Source of Nile, providing all units passing it a double-heal-promotion.

So far Italy has not sent any troops against Egypt, which is disappointing. But also it’s a strange lucky game I had there with Italy not declaring war on me! So here’s a survival guide:


In 9 of 10 games I played, Italy declared war on me before or in turn 1. If they declare on you before that – you might as well start over. You can try to exploit the diplomatic flaw in Scramble for Africa by declaring on everybody else before, so Italy doesn’t find a partner. Maybe you’re lucky. Also I think diplomacy here strongly depends on the order of players turns…

Anyway: If Italy attacks you, reload 1 turn before and sell Bengazi to Egypt for GPT. Your settler should be finished by now and on its way south. See whether you can bribe Italy against Egypt then. This could save you. If this doesn’t help, sell also Tunis (either to Egypt or to Morocco) and gather your troops around Tripoli. Beware that most likely Tripoli will fall.

Two cannons in the hills south of the city can both bombard Tripoli and the Italian fleet, or embarked units. Do so and reconquer Tripoli. This is a good way to destroy the fleet, but your capturing unit dies, once they retake the city. An early cavalry comes handy here as it can withdraw from the city after capturing it.

Also the timing is essential here – the Italian fleet needs to be occupied with Egypt already to NOT retake Tripoli every single turn (obviously because you only have a limited number of melee units).

The Mediterranean Campaign


While fighting the Italian navy (ab)use the Quicksave function. One time I played 2 turns in 2 hours, because to win, every single time you attack (and destroy) an Italian vessel, you need to capture it. Even a just captured and half-dead Italian Caio Duilio-class ironclad can withstand 1-2 enemy attacks and thus shield your own units. So even when they die they served you. This is truly Ottoman Carpentry. If the capture doesn’t trigger (80% chance, but it’s way less), try other attacks before in that turn and attack again.

As soon as your own coastal cities are save, prepare to go for the Italian cities. Both Cagliari (Sardinia) and Palermo (Sicily) can be bombarded from Tunisia. Do so and rush in with an ironclad of yours. For Catanzaro (Italian mainland) you either need some (captured) frigates or spare ironclads out of range. Two can attack per turn and without ranged damage you’ll need 2-3 turns.

After that, send necessary troops to Egypt and reconquer your and the Egyptian cities. Bring 4-6 ironclads into the Red Sea (you’ll meet a Portuguese fleet there). The rest of your fleet heads west to support the battle of Algiers. Gibraltar brings you one more save+reload session with the English fleet. You might sometimes NOT want to capture an enemy ship. These privateers can be in the way and prevent you from attacking ships behind them (pretty narrow there).

Turn 20-70 Timeline

  • 26 – Italy makes peace with Egypt (without having had one single combat)
  • 37 – make peace with Germany
  • 37 – sell Bengazi to Egypt and bribe Italy to war
  • 39 – Italy captures Bengazi
  • 40 – build a citadel towards Algiers (facilitating my offense there)
  • 42-48 – Italy captures Alexandria, Egypt reconquers it about 3 times
  • 47 – captured Algiers (Morocco for 190 GPT)
  • 53 – Italy and Egypt make peace while Suez has almost fallen (fail!)
  • 54-56 – heavy naval battles at Gibraltar, bombard the city with artillery
  • 57 – capture Gibraltar (and send cannons back east)
  • 59 – make peace with Belgium for 58 GPT
  • 61 – captured Cagliari (Sardinia) after bombardment by African based artillery
  • 64 – captured Palermo (Sicily)
  • 67 – captured Catanzaro (Italian mainland)
  • 69 – make peace with France for 65 GPT

End of the Mediterranean campaign:

Eventually you will capture Lisbon (me: turn 71) and make peace with Portugal and England. I got 170 GPT for peace with Portugal and 121 GPT from England. Also I sold Palermo and Lisbon to Morocco again, for a lot of money.

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Ottoman Deity Atlantic FleetAfter that the Ottoman Atlantic Fleet just protects the Moroccan coast. Place your units blocking Agadir and places to bombard Moroccan land units. Help your buddy out here.

The Continental Campaign


Reconquer your own and Egyptian cities and sell them off to Egypt. After that, have all your units head down towards Ethiopia. This should start around turn 70 latest. Also: Once your attack starts, ally with the City States around Ethiopia. This will draw some of its attention (units) away from your front.

Bring some 2-6 workers, too. Why workers? The mistake the Europeans make while attacking Ethiopia is bringing in troops one tile per turn (on rough terrain). To defeat Ethiopia, you need more troops than he can kill per turn! And to do this you need roads! Build roads in Egyptian territory towards Ethiopia. Have your artillery placed so you can fire on Ethiopian units and reinforce from behind with Cavalry.

Cavalry is ideal against them: Four movement is more than enough to rush in from 2 tiles behind the front, cross the first hill and head into Ethiopian territory. The defenders will attack your cavalry. If it gets promotions – heal it and attack again. If there are not enough movement points left and you’re out of horses – disband the cavalry and build (buy) a new one. In your two southern cities you should be able to buy 2 cavalries per turn.

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Ottoman Deity Capture Addis AbabaDon’t stop building roads at the border (like I did)! Even while advancing on the Ethiopian cities – build roads in their territory. This will eventually be yours and your units need to move fast. Also: On your roads, a cannon can move 2 tiles, set up and fire again!

Once you conquer a city – check out for enemy units. If it looks like you can hold the city (no melees around to conquer, or no artillery to bombard), hold it. It’ll draw enemy attacks for at least one turn. If you can’t hold it, sell it to Egypt.

Turn 70-90 Timeline

  • 70 – capture Asmara (Egypt for 60 GPT)
  • 71 – capture Bengazi (Egypt for 66 GPT)
  • 72 – capture Alexandria (Egypt for 50 GPT)
  • 73 – advance into Ethiopian territory
  • 75 – open borders with Belgium to advance on Gondar
  • 76 – ally with Bornu and Bunkeya, both close to the Ethiopian border
  • 77 – start of Golden Age, advance on Addis Ababa and Gondar
  • 80 – place rifled cannons around Addis Ababa
  • 81 – captured Addis Ababa (Egypt for 210 GPT)
  • 83 – captured Gondar (Belgium for 50 GPT)
  • 84 – captured Adwa (Egypt for 46 GPT)
  • 86 – captured Harrar
  • 86 – England and France DOW on Morocco
  • 87 – march on Axum and Lalibela, the two remaining Ethiopian cities
  • 89 – captured Axum
  • 90 – captured Lalibela, annihilating Ethiopia

With Ethiopia down, Egypt is #1 in score with 3492 VP. I rank second with a score of 3489 VP. But by now making 900-1300 GPT it’s easy to catch up with Egypt!

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Ottoman Deity Statistics ScoreIn the end I won: Ottoman empire – 4388 vs. Egypt scoring 3920 VP.

Turn 91-100 – War weary Robert + Ottoman Empire

Right after Ethiopia was extinct, everybody (really everybody: Portugal, Germany, England, France, Belgium) declared war on me. By now I was really war weary. Heavy reloading while capturing enemy fleets made me eager on just finishing the scenario now. So I bribed everybody (for really little GPT and the occasional luxury) to war against Egypt.

I supported both Egypt and Morocco in this war: I bought one Cavalry in my SE cities and one ironclad in Gibraltar and gave it to them. Nonetheless Egypt lost 1 city to Germany, Morocco fared pretty well against France and England.

Social Politics and Trade Routes

In the end I spent 45-60 on unit maintenance. So taking the middle tree proved a good choice:

  • Improved wares -> +1 GPT from each market
  • Conscription -> Unit maintenance cost reduced by 33% (so otherwise I would have spent 60-90)

Also you won’t do much fighting in the Sahara, so no need to go for the military tree. I assume this one is for Morocco, while the last one is for Egypt.

Once you have 3 social politics – start selling culture buildings. This saves you another 10-20 GPT across all your cities.

Bottom line: Social politics don’t matter at all!

What matters is trade routes! Always max out your trade routes! But don’t send them to Egypt – he’s getting more GPT than you do! Once you sold Algier or Palermo to Morocco – establish trade routes there. As soon as you have freed Gibraltar from the English – establish trade routes to Agadir. I never used land-trade routes, after the initial production push.


The Ottoman Carpentry achievement is more challenging than Praise the Victories (Win the Scramble for Africa playing as the Boers on Deity), but it’s also more fun!

Ottoman Carpentry is very random at the start: There’s little you can do against Italy coming for you, France and other Europeans declare war on you at random. Also you strongly depend on the land you find in Africa. But as pointed out at the start: Once you survive the first turns – it’s in your hands to win it!

If you found this strategy guide helpful, please like it or Google+1 it and help spread the word! Also, you can download the initial savegame here: Ottomans-AutoSave_Initial_0000-AD-1881-January.Civ5Save

30 thoughts on “Scramble for Africa – Ottoman Carpentry Steam Achievement Guide”

  1. This one is absolutely BRUTAL! Toughest achievement in the game by far. Never thought I’d look back fondly on the ease of Praise the Victories but here we are. This guide is excellent but there’s a few things I had to deal with that you apparently didn’t.
    Getting cooperative AI is essential. Sometimes the “pair declare” trick doesn’t work, but what’s more worrisome is that often the Europeans are completely unwilling to negotiate even after defeating plenty of units and capturing their capital. One game, they’ll hand you 90 gpt in a treaty without any engagement and the other they’ll fight to the bitter end even after you take their capital. It could be the timing of the initial war declaration, but it seemed random to me.
    With that in mind, I would recommend declaring war on all Europeans except Garibaldi on turn 0. Otherwise, Garibaldi will DEFINITELY come for you, even if you bribe him to attack Egypt first. He doesn’t mind fighting two wars at once. Delaying the Italian attack until you have two cannons and at least a couple ironclads is critical, you need to keep at least Tripoli and Tunis, as I’m not sure how you’re supposed to get a navy if you sell Benghazi and Tunis and let the Italians capture your capital over and over.
    One thing the guide doesn’t mention is that there’s a good chance Egypt and/or Morocco will get fed up with your warmongering and denounce you. If that happens (they both denounced in my game), you can kiss open borders goodbye. You can still sell them cities, but once they’re “neutral” or “guarded” they won’t give open borders for anything less than 425 GPT and all your luxuries. I would recommend planning for this, you don’t want your three original cities cut off from your empire because Egypt won’t play ball. In my game, I got lucky as there was a large mountainous region that spawned directly south of Tripoli, with coal on the east and west sides.
    Don’t forget about the Boers! You’d think the English would curbstomp them immediately but during one attempt they were just behind Ethiopia and would have easily beaten me even with Ethiopia gone. I couldn’t get anyone to attack them because we hadn’t actually met yet. To avoid this you can send one of your sipahi all the way down south before the Portuguese claim everything and make contact. With that done, all I had to was make peace with Victoria, bribe her with a luxury, and within fifteen turns the Boers were extinct.
    I never had more than 800 or so GPT and at one point late in the game I was down to about 260, and I cleared the Egyptians and everyone else (except Ethiopia, whom I had to conquer) easily. I may have had weaker competitors than you, but still. Thanks again for the incredible guide!

  2. FINALLY! Ottoman Carpentry! Success at last! I was beginning to think this was just some joke achievement that was impossible to get as the first dozen tries was just Italy rolling up with triple Caio-Dullio Class and OTK-ing Tunis, then subsequently annihilating my other exposed sea side cities. The European ‘Pair Declare’ exploit saved my bacon on the umpteenth try, allowing me to build up my own army while at war with all the other powers. I also bought ALL of Italy’s coal, so when the time came to declare (around 20 ish turns in) I was the one storming up to Palermo with a wave of ironclads while he had none to defend himself with. How do YOU like it Italy?

    And then like you said the rest of the scenario was fun! I felt like a true Barbary Corsair, floating around with my massive Ottoman fleet and raiding every seaside shack I laid eyes on, along with some stomping around in the middle of Africa in a land campaign. France was the lucky beneficiary here- she owned 3/4 of the map by the time I was done the scenario, greedily buying up every one of the hated English’s cities.

    It was oddly unique in the respect that I didn’t have to fight Ethiopia, which I suppose was lucky. They were in several wars over the course of the game, and every time peace was made, they gave a city to a European power. Ethiopia’s lands were an awful smattering of colours from different powers all blended together. I even managed to buy one of their cities and sell it to Egypt for a handsome profit, then got my money back by backstabbing them, naturally. Both the Boers and the Zulu were wiped out by Portugal and England. I never even met either of them. No one touched Egypt, not a single declaration of war, but they only capped out at around a few hundred gold per turn, so it was ok. I was eventually making about 3000 gold a turn, so I caught up quickly and finished with around 5200 points! 🙂

    The main takeaways for me from your article are definitely that Italy cannot fight you at the start, they need to be kept at bay for enough time. And also, for this scenario especially, learn how the AI ticks in terms of buying cities and giving away money and land at the end of wars. There is quite a science to it, and at the start I was never getting good rewards, only plain Peace Treaties. After learning how it worked I got better results in my diplomatic affairs, hehe.

    Thanks for the help! I’m excited to jump back in and do it with the Boers now!

    1. Hey there MysticalElf,
      congrats to the achievement of winning that game and of course getting the rare Steam Achievement! 🙂
      This is truly one of the hardest and I’m happy some of the crucial advice turned out helpful for you. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. Great guide, it helped me a lot to fulfill this achievement. I would like to add few elements to help others who would like to do it too.
    Settlers in order to found new cities is a good idea but you may lack power to resist Italy. In my games I started by producing canons only in my cities and I didn’t lose any one of them.
    When you think Italy will declare war on you, bribe it to attack Egypt. The idea is it to attack Alexandria. Declare war on Italy to weaken it and recapture Alexandria, then sell it back to Egypt and earn 110 GPT.
    In my game, I even managed to take Palermo in the twenth turn.
    DON’T ATTACK other cities. You NEED ONLY to defend. The most important thing in this game is to please Morroco and Egypt. If you take too much cities, they will go hostile and you won’t have free access anymore. If it’s the case you can’t attack Ethiopia and you will lose. So, only defend, make some troops (some canons will be necessary to take Ethiopian cities), one settler to build one city near Ethiopia. Make roads to go South and resist France.
    Near the fiftieth turn, you can take Cagliari, Alger and Gibraltar. Don’t go further, it’s too complicated and unnecessary. Focus on Ethiopia now. Peace with Europeans (except England) will come after taking Alger. For me, I had +1500 GPT.
    Last thing, don’t sell Ethiopian cities to Egypt. Indeed, you may lose free access and your troops won’t be able to attack anymore whereas you need to eradicate Ethiopians to win.

    1. It reads sooo simple 😉 Congratz to you and I’m really happy for everyone who makes this achievement! Thanks for the additional hints as well.

  4. I know I’m late to the party, but here’s one more vote for the “DOW every European but Italy” trick. After getting my butt handed to me several times when Italy would sweep and take Tripoli, I read through the comments here and decided to give it a try. Swapped Italy for all his free coal then declared on everyone else.

    France pressed me hard right away, so I ended up taking Algiers and selling it to Morrocco. Then I declared on Italy around turn 30. Cannons around Tunis made taking the first two cities fairly simple. He did steal one back once, but he didn’t have enough UUs keep doing it. By turn 45, Italy was toast.

    Ethiopia almost won it anyway. Even after I took Addis Ababa, they were still a thousand VP ahead of me on turn 70 and they stayed that way for the rest of the game. I finally took their last city on the final turn of the game—a real squeaker!

  5. God damn Boers… I finally managed to win, but it was a clutch! This was insanely difficult and frustrating. Not much happened according to the guide this time, but the tips helped me anyway, so thanks! I must’ve spent 30 hours beating this thing. Holding off Rome wasn’t so hard for me, but those damn Ethiopians and Boers… Jesus I never wanna play this map again.

    Some takeaways:
    -You will have time to build a privateer in Tunis before Italy destroys it if you send production according to this guide and start the privateer immediately. It finished one turn before the city was destroyed (already surrounded and no way out). The city can survive one wave of Italy’s ironclads if you have a land unit fortifying it. What I did was to bribe Rome to DoW Egypt on turn 0, then sell Tunis to Egypt before it falls on turn 11 or 12. Rome will spend an extra turn re-capturing it from Egypt. When you sell it with a stationed naval unit, the unit goes to another of your cities (nice escape). By the time Rome came for Tripolis I had 2 privateers and 1 or 2 canons, which was enough to start save-scumming and capturing his fleet. Rome was vanquished by around turn 35 iirc. I tried the method in this guide, but had no luck with that. I guess I was also lucky that Ethiopia found 6 coal just around the time I started capturing ironclads, so I got to use them at full power (even without the settler, which I delayed a little bit).

    -Build connected cities! Moving around on this map is a nightmare, as every single settleable tile will be settled, and virtually every tile will have a unit on it. It was imperative for me to have my own closed borders (never give anyone open borders after turn 50 or so) so my units could move. I had a string of cities going down to Ethiopia, which I captured with some help from Egypt and the Belgians (bribed). It doesn’t really matter if their score skyrockets, as they are getting exterminated anyway.

    -I never met the Boers, but I only won by 110 points (5334) over them. They had a tiny empire which was entirely unreachable late in the game. I had a stroke of extreme luck when I was about to give up at turn 79 (a few turns away from conquering Ethiopia). I had 2500 points with 1400 GPT vs. the Boers with 4200 – I thought it was hopeless since I knew I couldn’t meet them to bribe Portugal to annihilate them and I wasn’t really gaining in score. Then the message popped up: “An unmet player has lost their capital”! This was amazing, since it slowed them down a bit and allowed me gain on them.

    -I would not have won with GPT alone though. From around turn 85 it was obvious that my gains every round were too small (even with a stable 1500 GPT), so I bought an army of canons and stationed them around other players’ cities (strategically, so they could all fire from the start). Luckily I had some great generals to help me. I knew I couldn’t hold any of these cities, nor win a war, so I waited until turn 99. At this point I was around 150 points behind the Boers I captured 4 relatively large cities and managed to scrape together the points to win. These cities would have been lost against on the next turn, there are just way too many units on the map. Another option would have been to sell all my cities for GPT at around turn 80, but everyone hated me by then so I wasn’t getting the best deals.

    -Use every dirty trick in the book on this one, it’s fair considered that it’s incredibly unbalanced and frustrating. One extremely helpful trick is this: before DoW’ing someone, try to buy one of their cities. I managed to buy Ethiopia’s northernmost city with my GPT, which saved me so much trouble. You get your GPT back the same turn once you declare war. You can buy a city and immediately sell it to another player for GPT if you think you can’t hold it, or don’t want to. I didn’t want Egypt getting in my way, so I kept it. Another good trick is to repeatedly sell a city. Since Ethiopia was at war with both Belgium and Egypt, this worked out very nicely for me. I took their capital, then sold it to Egypt and let Ethiopia retake it. Then I sold it to Egypt again. I repeated this three times more selling it to Belgium. They were giving me shit deals since they hated me, but I still managed to drain them.

    -Calculate how many points you will get for selling a city vs. keeping it. Look at your score increase when capturing it. This becomes important when there are less than 15 or so turns left. If you get 100 VC when capturing a city, you’d need 100 GPT for at least 10 turns to make it worth selling (unless you need money for something). Late in the game I got really bad deals, so I kept the cities, especially knowing that I might DoW or get DoW’d and lose the GPT.

    -Once your fleet is done with Lisbon, take it south and harass the coast. I managed to capture some cities and get some decent deals selling them. I could never get further than Dakar or so, since Britain just shows up with a wall of privateers and ships of the line,

    Only a few achievements to go now. I really hope this was the hardest one, otherwise I might not finish this quest.

    1. Wow! Thanks for this comment and the whole list of great tips.
      One thing in particular struck me: Did you REALLY buy an Ethiopian city with your GPT??? This is the first time I ever hear of this and I’m crazily impressed! I haven’t even tried such (ridiculous = genius) feat!

  6. A guide for this achievement on Steam says that you should avoid moving your military units for the first turn or two to avoid drawing Italy’s ire too soon. Worked for me at least.

    1. That’s a great hint, especially since I wasn’t able to reproduce this success 😉

  7. Thanks again for the great guide! Unfortunately the game keeps on crashing when selling back Cairo, so no sweet coins for that one, grmbl. Hassan doesn’t like me, warmongering…

  8. Thank you for usefull guide. For now I’m only trying to achive this mission. Don’t you know clear guide how does total score depens on gold? As I understand only total amound does matter and It’s not important how much money did you gain last turn.

    1. Hi Alex, that’s semi-correct: It doesn’t matter how much Gold you own or earn LAST turn. The score will be updated EACH TURN and you get points for Gold per turn over the entire duration of the game. That’s why it’s also a good idea to sell cities to the AI for a lot Gold per turn.

  9. Does anyone have a save like 10 or 20 turns in? I’d like to see how they have things setup and where I always go wrong.

    Thank you,


  10. Silly question, but what ships should I concentrate on building first? Privateers or Ironclads? Additionally, should I upgrade them to Coastal Raiders (vs. Cities) or the upgrade that improves combat against ships? And lastly, did you literally make a b-line for those coal spots?

    1. I’d say definitely go with Ironclads once you have coal! The Italian Caio Duilio ironclads are incredibly strong, so Privateers wouldn’t stand a chance. Also: In terms of capturing them it doesn’t make a difference, because as of the Ottomans unique ability all your naval vessels can capture enemy ships.

      Definitely go for promotion against other ships first. It’s more important for your defense.

      And lastly: Yes, definitely head for the coal-city as quickly as possible! Each turn matters!

  11. Thank you for another great guide! I only want to add that there’s another bug in this scenario you can exploit: when someone denounces you, they may become friendly to you for one turn, even if they had never been friendly to you before! In my game, it helped me a lot, when Egypt denounced me again on turn 84 and I found this: I was able to re-capture Palermo and sell it for a decent 365 GPT on that turn! (And you can also have their borders open if you bother.) I doubt I could surpass Egypt, who abandoned her friendliness before I finished Italy, and its score by turn 100 if it wasn’t for this.

  12. One thing on diplomacy which worked for me was to declare war on everyone except Italy as soon as you start the game. The only power close enough to you to attack is France and they are easily bottled up. I was easily able to reach turn 30 before going to war with Italy. As an added bonus all the powers will eventually give you a peace treaty for some GPT.

  13. After several attempts finally made it using Robert’s save, but slightly different strategy (without elimination of Ethiopia). At around turn 90 Boers, who were 2nd fell to England and before finish line I took 1st place from Ethiopia. Winning by 100 points with total of 5588 pts, and that’s with the first city sold at around turn 60, because everyone hated me for warmongering.
    1. DOWed everyone on first turn except Italy and kept farming gold and exp off French units (plus free workers) till Algiers fell on turn 45. Peace with France. At turn 56 France brings Italy “to the party”. 10 turns later Mediterranean belongs to me.
    2. Founded 5 new cities. One of them with access to Source of Nille, one on the north eastern shore next to Ethiopia (this was supposed to be a military base to take out Ethiopia, but I wish I would have made it a naval base instead to take out Portugal’s coastal cities).
    3. Europeans are evil, so send those infidels to hell. Their cities are good enough for victory points and are easier to conquer.
    This time Zulus made it to the end without being swept away

  14. I just had a game where I held of Italy and other Europeans, conquered Ethiopia, and then lost to the Boers! That’s new.

  15. Hello,
    I’m playing this scenario now. I had try many times but every time Italy wanted to destroy me.
    I was thinking how could i avoid. About 10 turn Italy declared war on me(i was not way to avoid). So after he declared war on me i sold: Bengazi to Egypt and Tunis to Morocco(they gave me some gold – per turn).
    Then I was surprised, Italy didn’t send ships and soliders. In this moment i had one new city on coal so i got enough time to prepare capital to defend.(he attacked me when i had ship(this which uses coal[ i am not able to translate that form my native language – in Polish language it has name Pancernik parowy]and some cannons) Now there is turn 43, i’ve just got Italy’s capital and this city on the left.
    I would like to add:
    -I have declared war on France in turn 1
    -Morocco has not yet had war with Italy.(i will wipe out Italy now)
    -I had war with Etiophia because i stolen his settlers but then i made peace with him(he got me 4 gold per turn) and then he asked me about being friend(i agreed)
    -Egypt has not had war with Italy.
    -Morocco and France have peace. Morocco has war only with Portugal

    1. I have forgot i’m in war with all european(before (about)10 turn i had started war with all european).

  16. Very useful guide! I never managed to find peace with Italy, always got DoW’ed on turn 11, but with (lots of) luck I could fend them off.

    First I neglected your advice to take care of Etiophia early on and then regretted when I realised I couldn’t defeat them and they had twice my points. But on my second game I did heed the advice and got a glorious victory! 8654 points versus 3257 from Egypt.

    1. That is an incredibly good score!!! 🙂
      I’ve replayed it again recently, too. Managed to conquer Italy, but in the South Germany was pressing too hard, so I had no chance to even attack Ethiopia. So many factors influencing this game…

      For everybody else: Here is Bennedicts initial save featuring 9 coal resources just south of Tripolis, plus King Solomon’s Mines. Further South-East you can found your 3rd city next to Source of Nile providing +10 Happiness ->

  17. Thank you for the guides, they are nicely written and useful.

    For this particular achievement, I found a solution that does not rely on extreme luck of peaceful coexistence with Italy. You have to buy all his coal on turn 0. And then on turn 11 he comes with privateers and only a few uber-ironclads, instead of 5-6 of them. And this can be handled with your 1 ironclad and couple cannons initially.

    1. Hi KPEMEHb,
      thanks so much for your comment! I entirely agree: My game was 90% luck with Italy not declaring war on me. Have you tried bribing them against Egypt, though? But anyway: Big thanks for providing a solution that is reliable! I’ll give it a try anytime soon, but even if your way works only half the time, it’s still A LOT better than my lucky punch 🙂
      Maybe a combination of both works perfectly: Buying all their Coal AND bribing them against Egypt to buy some time…

    2. I bribed them against Egypt, it had zero effect on their desire to destroy me first. They DOWed me in a group, they DOWed by themselves. I tried selling Tunis to Morocco and Egypt. Nothing, basically, prevented Italy from declaring on me and bringing their 5-6 ironclads before I had anything to repel them.

      So, at the end I still sold Tunis to Morocco, but had reasonably easy time defending Tripoli without losing it even once.

  18. I enjoy your guides, and this one is certainly useful, but having Italy not DOW on you at turn 10-11 seems like an extremely rare, uncontrollable, and super lucky scenario. Since I was not able to achieve it (and I tried various things, including DOW on everyone but Italy on turn 0), I was destroyed by 5-6 Italian uber-ironclads very quickly and hopelessly. So I had to find a more controllable solution, which luckily exists.

    You have to buy all available coal (9) from Italy on turn 0. You also buy 1 coal from Morocco on turn 5-6 when it is still available to avoid resource penalty. Then when Italy DOW around turn 11, you can meet his privateers with your ironclad and couple cannons, which can totally be handled, and by the time his uber-ironclads arrive you have 4 cannons and a shield of privateers.

    Early war with France is indeed useful, as you get to kill his units (at 34 gold each), and you need gold for your first cannons. It did not prevent France from attacking Morocco at the same time, but I guess it splits France’s forces and helps Morocco to withstand the attack.

  19. Excellent guide, but I’ve been having an issue. Every time I play, I get dow’d at turn 10, prohibiting me from setting up a city on the coal (as the italian navy kills my city in 3 turns max). Furthermore, I’m only able to get one rifled cannon out. Any ideas? Thanks for this excellent guide, btw.

    1. Hey there, check out the part on Diplomacy. I think to an extent I was lucky, because whenever Italy WANTED to declare war on me, they didn’t find a partner. In doubt try declaring war on the last Europeans (except Italy) whom you’re at peace with. And bribe Italy vs. Egypt. This was the only way I could keep them from going after me this early. Good luck! 🙂

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