Portugal/Strategic Overview

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Faction Overview Strategic Overview History
  • Strengths: Good research capabilities, resulting in better units, legendary naval strength
  • Weaknesses: Poor land army, except for gunpowder units

Gameplay-wise, Portugal is focused on naval forces and medium- to long-term campaigning. While as regards to land units it only has the Fundeiros levy and Quadrilheiros, as well as Iberian skirmishers, Portugal's main advantage is at the sea. It can host four different types of ships in the Imperial Era: the cheaper naus and fustas, and the costlier but more effective carracks and caravelas redondas, which outmatch all other brigantines and lanternas (and all their equivalents) in the game — Portuguese ships do not require either Legalism or Absolutism, but Centralisation instead. Thus, Portugal excels in game where there is plenty of water and the sole way to invade is by using naval forces to screen your land forces out in the open blue.

On land, Portugal has two special militia units and a regional unique unit it shares with Andalus and Spain — the jinetes line. Unlike other skirmishers, the jinetes are faster to train, and move faster and have better range than other javelineers, making them powerful enough to be a menace to cavalry and infantry alike.

When it comes to militia, however, the Portuguese are a rather strange oddity: they receive their skirmisher levies from the Peasants' Commune, and the melee levy from the Town Watch Guild, while it should normally be the other way around for other factions. These units are the Fundeiros, and the Quadrilheiros. The Fundeiros levy consists of slinger militia whose rocks can tear apart others in large groups, and the Quadrilheiros, although weak as any other militia unit, are robust melee units capable of detecting hidden units. Equally, the buildings where these units are created are much stronger, cheaper and easier to build than usual, so a Portuguese city will always be heavily defended by lots of levy units whose production will be harder than usual to bring to a halt. If the city is taken, rest assured: they will not cooperate with the enemy. Additionally, because Portugal's militia units are capable of being used offensively, Portugal should be able to create an effective military garrison in whatever cities it took from the enemy, which can be used defensively to stall the enemy or to go out and take the next enemy city.

The next thing to note about Portugal as a land power is that it is very dependent on Centralisation for light gunpowder infantry, in addition to its more powerful warships. Unlike other factions, Portugal takes a little longer in obtaining Arquebusiers and will require Centralisation, not Scientific research to obtain them, but once the Portuguese do obtain it, the Portuguese will soon discover that they have a research time premium on Arquebus research time, as well as better LOS and anti-melee unit capability on them. The extra LOS and the ability to fire at enemies a little closer to them than normal helps the Portuguese faction greatly especially when fighting light cav or melee-based factions, such as the Turks or the Japanese.

So while Portugal shines on the sea, mustering land forces against the more variegated armies of factions such as England, France or China might be rather difficult. Your task in that case might be to attempt to use your cheaper means of producing knowledge to out-research your opponent, so that you could field better or bigger armies during confrontations. Perhaps, the best strategy would be to get to the Castle Age as fast as possible, in order to access the chivalric order units hosted at your Nobles' Court. These units, although costly, have game-changing abilities that will be vital if Portugal seeks to survive the early game.

Faction summary[edit]

  • A faction based on naval units, gunpowder and research.
  • Oriental Exotics — Portuguese explorers have returned back from England and the far reaches of Asia and Africa, bearing gifts. Of mercenaries, that is. While the selection isn't as huge as that of Burgundy, your mercenaries are of sufficient quality to be used even as flankers and your main line.
  • Outsmart, Outgun, Outlast — You are better off using gunpowder units as they are relatively cheaper for you. With University and Scholar creating more knowledge for you, you have an advantage over others when it comes to gunpowder unit production. Enemy has superior numbers? go win the tech race and bring out better units and more resources to best them. Facing Spain's Arquebus Tercios? just out-produce the blighters. Too many Cheirosiphon Vessels? protect your shores with Bombards.
  • A cuatro navios — Portugal is meant for those players who really love the sea too much to care about land armies. Fortunately for you, your navy does not face any political restrictions, so you can research both penultimate heavy ships and light ships, allowing for a well-balanced fleet capable of smashing any threat into toothpicks.
  • Assault and Gunnery — Portugal's Arquebusiers may be harder to obtain, but are very useful against enemy melee units, particularly melee infantry and light cavalry once you receive them.
  • Last-Ditch Efforts — Militia may not be the best troops available, but when facing either imminent defeat or final victory, every man, woman (and child) armed counts. The buildings where these units are created are much stronger, cheaper and easier to build than usual for Portugal, so Portugal faces lower setup costs for producing its famed militia units.
  • Jinetes hijinks — Jinetes are better than other javelin cavalry elsewhere, and are most strong against melee infantry and light cavalry — their range and speed approximate that of a Mounted Ranger. Use them to mow down the oponenent's light cavalry and infantry, but be wary of gunpowder units, heavy archers, camels and Mongol nomads.

Best age(s):[edit]


Strategic Overview
Portuguese Flag.png
Basic gameplay Renovatio Europam