|This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires II. For the civilization in Age of Empires III, see Portuguese (Age of Empires III).|
The Portuguese are a naval civilization that focuses on solid late-game economy and bases their army strength in versatile gunpowder units and a powerful navy. Historically, Goths first and Arabic people after ruled the Iberic Peninsula before the Reconquista, which caused Portugal to become an independent kingdom from 1139 onwards and to have its territory fully consolidated by 1248. They have been a non-protagonist country in Europe for around two or three centuries. But from the 15th century, during the Age of Discovery, they were able to build a very powerful and large colonial empire, and for a brief period had the supremacy in the Atlantic Ocean before being outclassed by the Spanish, British, and Dutch Empires.
The Portuguese established tactical colonial bases in the New World and particularly on the African coasts thanks to their excellent navigation skills and organization. This implied great trade advantages opening them exclusive naval routes to India, Africa, and China, along with a wide control of the oceans. This would have been impossible without a powerful, highly advanced military and large fleet along with emperors who financed and oriented their political economics to create a strong colonial trade empire. All of these facts are reflected in the game by giving the Portuguese two unique units (the Organ Gun and the Caravel), and one of the most effective navies since they get +10% HP for all their ships and Carrack which gives their ships +1/+1 armor. They can also count on more accurate gunpowder units thanks to Arquebus which makes gunpowder units fire accurately at moving targets, and free Cartography from the Dark Age.
The Portuguese resolved the problem of being a small nation by basing their economy on foreign-opened exchange and production of their colonies. This meant that most of their income came from abroad, and had a critical impact on the employment in primary sectors and focus on military and exploring purposes. As a result, from the Imperial Age, they are the only civilization in the game able to collect resources without employing Villagers thanks to their unique building, the Feitoria.
The Portuguese were also among the first European countries, along with the Spanish, to successfully colonize South America. This operation boasted, as well as a prolonged serious inflation from the late 16th to early 17th centuries, their economy and made Portugal one of the wealthiest and richest European nations for several decades before their eventual military and commercial decline. The crown was able to finance exploring voyages and pay soldiers handsomely. The flourishing economy of the Portuguese was further stimulated as large trade companies started in risk trade investment, which too gave very high profits. The consequences of all this income is reflected in the reduced gold cost of all units, including military ones.
As a naval civilization, the Portuguese rely on a strong navy. Their ships are more durable due to their civilization bonus and Carrack and cheaper in terms of gold. Also, they get the Caravel, which can be an asset in large fights as it is capable of damaging multiple ships. On the land, the Portuguese are able to field a versatile army. Their Blacksmith is complete which results in their foot archers being fully upgradable, but their infantry sorely misses Squires as it means they miss out on an important speed bonus. Their cavalry may seem underwhelming without the Paladin and Hussar upgrade, but their Cavalier gets all upgrades and is one of the most cost effective of all units thanks to the gold discount. The gunpowder units deserve a special mentioning for the Portuguese as they can all be fully upgraded and receive a comrade-in-arms with the Organ Gun and an important accuracy boost with Arquebus. Again, the gold discount comes in handy here as these units are all very gold-intensive. Outside of the Bombard Cannon, their siege weapons are way below average, however. Their Monks are very good. The defensive structures rank as above average and their economy is strong.
Campaign appearances Edit
The Portuguese have a campaign devoted to their civilization: Francisco de Almeida. They also appear in:
Unique units Edit
Unique technologies Edit
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Civilization bonuses Edit
Team bonus Edit
The African Kingdoms Edit
Rise of the Rajas Edit
Definitive Edition Edit
In-game dialogue language Edit
In-game, Portuguese units speak Modern Portuguese.
AI player names Edit
Similar to that of Spain, the Medieval history of Portugal can be divided into three principal chapters: the expansion of the Visigoth kingdom after the disintegration of the Roman Empire, the emergence of Islamic Iberia, and the reconquest by the Christian kingdoms in Iberia. Most noticeably during the third chapter, Portuguese and Spanish history diverged from each other, resulting in two distinctive cultures.
The Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula was initiated by Pelagius, a Visigoth nobleman, who successfully rebelled against the Muslim conquerors around AD 722. With this act, he was the first to re-establish a Christian foothold, namely the kingdom of Asturias. Over the next two centuries, Pelagius’ successors would expand their rule over the north-western part of the peninsula. Most notably, in AD 868, Vimara Peres conquered the city of Portucale (present-day Porto) and the surrounding area. As a token of gratitude, King Alfonso III named him Count of Portugal.
Geographically isolated and, as a frontier region, far away from the royal court, the County of Portugal enjoyed a relatively high degree of political autonomy. Culturally, the development of the Portuguese language revealed a difference with Leon, the successor state of Asturias, of which the County was a vassal. As a result, the sense of their unique identity spurred the desire of the Portuguese to gain de facto independence from Leon. This was eventually achieved between AD 1128 and AD 1143, when Afonso Henriques revolted against his mother, the countess of Portugal, and the king of Leon.
During the next century, the Portuguese expanded their territory further south. Afonso Henriques capitalized on the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of al-Andalus to make major territorial gains. With the help of a passing Crusader army, he managed to take the city of Lisbon in AD 1147. Algarve, the southernmost region, was eventually conquered by AD 1250, allowing Portugal to consolidate its natural borders. Ever since, the country’s boundaries have been relatively stable.
The Portuguese economy traditionally focused on fishing and agriculture. In addition, the kingdom possessed one of the richest sources of copper and tin in Medieval Europe. With the incorporation of the Algarve region, wine and salt could be exported to England and Flanders. From the fourteenth century onwards, trade, especially maritime trade, became even more important. King Afonso IV (AD 1291 – 1357) and Prince Infante Henrique (AD 1394 – 1460) both invested heavily in the Portuguese navy and exploratory missions. For that reason, Infante Henrique is widely viewed as the main initiator of the Age of Discovery. Not only did he oversee the development of the caravel, a light and fast ship, but he also sponsored many expeditions to the African continent himself, laying the foundations of the Portuguese Empire.
The immense trading network created by the exploration missions ushered in the golden age of Portugal. Between the fifteenth and sixteenth century, the Portuguese army would be one of the most technologically advanced armies in the world, making extensive use of gunpowder weaponry. However, the wealth acquired through trading was also used to sponsor advancements in the arts and sciences. Scholars and artists were attracted to Portugal from all over Europe and initiated a unique Portuguese Renaissance. For most of the Early Modern Period, Portugal would remain a major economic, political, and cultural power.
Video overview Edit