The Portuguese are a booming naval civilization. They have - like the Japanese - a quite rare duo of strengths, because they excel offensively on both land and water, and also possess two great economic advantages that assume a critical role in late-game, where resources become scarce and gold is more and more important.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
The biggest advantage the Portuguese have over any civilization is accuracy of gunpowder units. Thanks to Arquebus, ballistics will give gunpowder units incredible accuracy and speed. Bombard Towers will be able to hit targets faster while Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons will be more precise against enemies moving towards them. The Organ Gun has a spray damage effect at range, so injuring infantry lines or rows of archers will be more effective.
The second strength of the Portuguese is their navy. Excluding their increased accuracy Cannon Galleons, they have ships that are more durable overall. The Caravel brings the raw damaging advantage of Scorpions on land to the water so now there is an efficient way to handle mass Galleons. When depletable resources such as forests, Stone Mines, and Gold Mines are scarce, the Feitoria will compensate for the lack of resources by auto producing them. They have a good infantry and cavalry arsenal to protect their gunpowder units.
The Portuguese are pretty strong at the Archery Range: they only miss out on the Heavy Cavalry Archer and Parthian Tactics upgrades. They are formidable since they get all the blacksmith technologies available plus Thumb Ring. For the Barracks they get Halberdiers and Champions with all the Blacksmith technologies available, they do, however, lack Squires. It's worth pointing out as well a complete university which is really helpful. Finally they have a pretty good economy only with the lack of Gold Shaft Mining.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
The Portuguese navy lack the Fast Fire Ship and Shipwright upgrades, and the Caravels/Elite Caravals have less bonus attack against ships compared to their Galley-line counterparts, making them vulnerable against enemy Fire Ships/Fast Fire Ships even when massed. The Portuguese will likely need to boom in order to pay for the gunpowder units, even though the gold discount helps.
Early-game, the civilization may pose a problem to newer players, since the reduction cost bonus at Feudal and Dark Age is relatively minor, as the only units that costs gold during these ages are Archers and Militia-line infantry.
The late-game stable is more than lacking, as the final upgrades for both the Light Cavalry and Knight-line are missing, and Camels are absent entirely. This creates an exploitable dependency on the Archery Range. They also lack Squires, which makes dealing with cavalry raids all the more difficult. At the Siege Workshop, they lack Heavy Scorpions, Siege Onagers, and Siege Rams, but their formidable and discounted Bombard Cannons and Organ Guns make up for this.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Portuguese can be played as a booming civilization specializing in Gunpowder, which would make them share several tactical similarities with other late-game civilizations like the Spanish or the Turks. They will suffer a disadvantage early in the game when going head-to-head with civilizations able to perform an early raid, while in the late-game they could become an almost unstoppable force. Having this in mind when playing in free for all games or in 1 vs 1 games, the Portuguese player should avoid at all costs early enemy raiding parties on their town and focus on their economy and aging up.
Early in the game, their gold discount on units will help them to train several Militias in the Dark Age or Archers in the Feudal Age to defend themselves, but this discount at that point will have very low impact, as those units already have low gold cost. However, this may also enable them to perform early raiding strategies, like a militia rush in the Dark Age or an Archer rush in the Feudal Age; the latter is the recommended strategy in most 1 vs 1 or free for all matches for Portuguese players in open maps.
Their mid and late game is strong; their gunpowder line is arguably one of the best, being both cheaper and more accurate. Although not an "infantry" civilization, the Barracks is incredibly powerful. There is no reason to avoid using the Archery Range, either. Also, despite not being a "Monk Civilization", their Monks are cheaper, so they can also perform a Monk Rush.
Reaching the Castle Age should be a priority when playing as the Portuguese. The Castle Age opens up a wider array of opportunities to use the Portuguese discount bonus, as it will apply to important units like Monks, Knights, Crossbowmen, Cavalry Archers and siege units, enabling them to perform tactics such as a Monk Rush and Knight Rush. A Cavalry Archer Rush is not recommended, as they cannot be upgraded in the Imperial Age, and due to the lack of Parthian Tactics. They will also get access to their unique unit, the Organ Gun, which is a gunpowder unit available during the Castle Age, and acts like it was a small group of Hand Cannoneers firing several bullets at its targets at once.
The Portuguese are immensely powerful on the water, being strong in all stages of the game. The gold discount makes their beefy warships cheaper, creating one of the strongest combination of civilization bonuses in the game. Beyond this, the Portuguese Castle Age unique tech Carrack adds more defense to the Portuguese navy, effectively making the Portuguese navy the most resilient in the game. It is because of this resilience that a Portuguese player should not be afraid to engage unless heavily outnumbered. In the Imperial Age, the Arquebus technology makes Cannon Galleons a terror on the water. They also have the Caravel as a naval unique unit. This unit has a kind of splash damage that effects nearby enemy ships, so they are excellent against groups of ships. It is an excellent escort to Transport Ships, and make a good duo with regular Galleons. Also in maps like Islands or Archipelago, in which the wood and gold run the risk of being depleted, Feitorias will provide the Wood and Gold required for their ships in the late game (assuming the player and his opponents are near to deplete those resources from the map).
In the late game, the Portuguese should focus on creating gunpowder units as required. Normally, gunpowder units have a lot of problems with moving targets, due to their inaccuracy at long range. With Portuguese, that isn't the case, as their unique technology Arquebus lets the Ballistics technology have an effect on those units. A Portuguese late game army may consist of Halberdiers, Hand Cannoneers, and Bombard Cannons.
Unlike Turks or Spanish, which have to obtain their gold from Relics, trade, or mining, a Portuguese player don't have to bother about scarcity of gold, stone or even wood and food in the long term, as their Feitorias can produce those resources slowly but constantly, enabling to them to continually produce gunpowder units, even when the game enters the "Trash Wars". This is despite the fact that the Feitoria trickle is slow. One peculiar tactic Portuguese can employ in the late game is attacking with a combination of Bombard Towers, Keeps, Hand Cannoneers and Halberdiers. This technique requires them to develop a strong economy and turn their entire economy to Feitorias once they deplete all their stone mines and gold mines, leaving only few villagers to create the Towers. At that point, every other player will turn to trash wars, so the Portuguese player will have a huge late game advantage.
Strategy changes in the Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]
The Portuguese economy received a boost, as the production rate of the Feitoria is raised and the gold discount on units increased from 15% to 20%. These changes aim at improving Portuguese superiority in the late game even further, allowing them to keep expensive unit production at a stage when the enemy is forced to use trash units.
With update 42848, Portuguese now research all technologies 30% faster (excluding advancing ages), which has both military and economic implications. Economic benefits of the new civilization bonus are greater in the early stages of the game, when getting Lumber Camp and Mill upgrades that increase gather rate is a top priority. Research time of essential Town Center technologies like Loom, Hand Cart and Wheelbarrow is also affected; meaning that Town Centers can get back to producing Villagers faster and give the Portuguese player a slight Villager lead over their opponent.
The faster researche time can also be exploited for a rush, as the Portuguese will mostly likely get important military (e.g. upgrading Militia to Man-at-Arms as soon as reaching the Feudal Age) upgrades before their opponents.
Alliances[edit | edit source]
As a Booming civilization whose civilization bonus kicks in more thoroughly in the late game, but is relatively weak in early game, Portuguese should ideally play in the pocket position, as their allies can defend them until they reach Castle and Imperial Age. Also, they are excellent Springs in Springboard tactics. However, a Portuguese player can be powerful in any position, due to their gold reduction bonus.
The Portuguese team bonus gives Cartography for free at the beginning of the game without needing a Market. This bonus is kind of a situational one and basically helps the team to coordinate scouting, and quickly locate resources and the enemy team. This bonus synergizes with the Burmese team bonus, as players will know the exact locations of the Relics, so they can focus on finding the opponents and particular features of the map. Having a Vietnamese ally also makes a great synergy, since the Vietnamese starts the game knowing the locations of the opponent Town Centers. Allied with the Portuguese, this makes all the team have this information at the start of the game. The Mongol team bonus is also useful, as all Scout Cavalry on the team will have more line of sight, so they can explore the map faster.
Portuguese function well with civilizations like the Turks, as they will improve the creation speed of their gunpowder units, including the Organ Gun. Having a team which include Portuguese, Turks, and Berbers will improve creation speed of the Organ Gun even more, thanks to the Kasbah technology. Having a team which includes Britons and Turks will improve the creation speed of the Hand Cannoneer that is also valuable for the Portuguese. Having a team Including Celts and Turks will improve the creation speed of the Bombard Cannons.
Considering the Feitoria bonus, Portuguese also function well with Aztecs, as this team won't have to worry about gold in the late-game, thanks to the Aztec Relic gold bonus. Also, as Aztecs are a good early game civilization but lose this status later in the game, and Portuguese are exactly the opposite, both can protect the other in different moments of the game. The Spanish are also a good Portuguese ally thanks to the trading bonus. Allying with Burgundian players will also be helpful with extra food income from Relics they provide. The access to the Feitoria also makes the Portuguese a highly valuable ally in the late-game, as they can tribute the team rare or scarce resources when those are depleted.
In Water maps, Vikings and Koreans are probably their best allies, and having these three civilizations on the same team will make the most varied naval army in the game. Japanese and Malay are also good allies, since they will give extra line-of-sight to the already powerful Portuguese Galleys and their Docks, respectively. Sicilian also offer enhanced Transport Ships with extra defenses and capacity, should there be a need of amphibious assault or simply island exploring.
As their Monks are cheaper, Portuguese also work well with civilizations that improve their Monks and Monastery, like the Byzantines (who make Monks be better healers) and Lithuanians (who make Monasteries work faster).
Market Trade Assistance[edit | edit source]
The Feitoria will generate resources automatically without affecting market cost, so if an allied player would like to purchase a resource from the market, the Portuguese can artificially lower the price of the resource by selling it at the market and lowering the price, as market cost is the same for all players, and any trading at the market affects all players. This is particularly useful for stone purchasing, as usually the price of stone is very high from the beginning of the Feudal Age. However, this technique can backfire, as it will also make the market cheaper for the opponent, allowing them to purchase resources at cheaper prices too.
This is not recommended by more advanced players however, as the Feitoria does not produce resources at a particularly fast rate, so Villagers are considered a superior form of resource collection. Feitorias are only used extensively in 300 to 500 population games or for super late-game when most gold and stone mines are depleted (in that case, Feitorias will be a reliable source of both of these resources, even in low cap population games - except in 25 population matches).
Compared advantages and disadvantages[edit | edit source]
Advantages vs other civilizations[edit | edit source]
Disadvantages vs other civilizations[edit | edit source]
Situational advantages[edit | edit source]