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Civilization Tech tree Strategy

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

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

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

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.

Alliances Edit

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. 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.

Market Trade Assistance Edit

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

Advantages vs other civilizations Edit

  • The Organ Gun, being an Gunpowder siege unit with high damage output and a spray attack, counters almost all kinds of infantry (with some exceptions; see in disadvantages). Even the infantry of prominent infantry civilizations (such as Aztecs, Goths, Celts and Burmese) are vulnerable, especially if they are deployed in large numbers. Also, they fare well against foot archers (particularly skirmishers), especially if they are in packed formations, so civilizations like Mayans, Vietnamese, and Britons may have to protect their archery with other units.
  • The Caravel, being a ship that deal splash damage in a straight line (like the Scorpion) and having similar characteristics to the Galleon, can counter masses of enemy ships (especially in dense formations) if deployed en masse, so naval civilizations that may rely on numeric superiority to thrive (like the Vikings) will have a hard time against them (however, Longboats can be arguably in tie against caravels in mass battles due to their arrow-fire). They are also able to hit-and-run Korean Turtle Ships.
  • Regarding naval warfare, their ships are cheaper due to the gold discount, while at the same time have more HP and better armor (the latter due to the Carrack technology), so they have an advantage over civilizations that don't buff up the raw combat stats of their navy, like the Malay (who rely on Harbors to get an edge in naval encounters), the Persians (who rely on fast producing docks), Berbers (whose navy relies on movement speed, not attack or resilience) or Vikings (who rely on the cheapness of their navy early on). As Cannon Galleons benefit from Arquebus, they also gain an edge over civilizations reliant on coastal defenses in water maps (like the Malay, Koreans and Byzantines). They can create Feitorias for the late game, thus enabling a reliable and constant source of wood and gold, even when they are depleted from the map, so they also have an advantage against civilizations lacking the Shipwright upgrade.
  • Defensively speaking, they have almost all defensive upgrades (only lacking Arrowslits and Hoardings), so they have an advantage against civilizations with mediocre siege units or without proper anti-building units, especially before the Imperial Age (when everyone get access to Trebuchet). Also, Feitorias are bulky and harder to destroy than villagers, making their economy in certain situations harder to disrupt through raiding, while the Feitorias themselves can be a slow but steady source of stone (which is necessary to make more towers, walls and Castles). Civilizations that may have to raid their enemy to destroy or disrupt economy (like Huns and Mongols) should have this in consideration, especially in the late Imperial Age.
  • Being a civilization with accurate Hand Cannoneers, they can effectively counter most infantry armies (except Italian Condottieri; see in disadvantages). Civilizations like Goths, Aztecs, Malians and Celts struggle against them.
  • Having cheaper Monks and almost all Monastery technologies, they are good at countering heavy cavalry and elephants, so Franks, Malians, Khmer, Persians, Indians, and Burmese should take precautions against Portuguese Monks. They also have good Halberdiers, only lacking Squires, adding more power against cavalry in general.
  • Since their Bombard Cannon is cheaper and more accurate, they have an advantage against civilizations with mediocre defenses, such as Huns, Magyars and Goth. Even civilizations with good defenses (like Byzantines, Chinese, and Incas) may have trouble against Portuguese Bombard Cannons. As they can counter other siege units, this also gives them an advantage against civilizations with bad siege engines, and even civilizations with good siege engines will have a hard time against Portuguese Cannons.
  • As they have a fairly open tech tree with most relevant technologies available, they can effectively counter civilizations more limited in that regard (like the Goths, Mayans, Magyars, Britons, and other "specialist" civilizations).
  • Being able to perform early raids with the Militia and Archers, they have an advantage against civilizations with mediocre or regular early and mid game (such as Indians, Turks, and Spanish), particularly in open maps like Arabia and if starting in the Dark Age.
  • As their Feitorias enabls them to steadily produce gold until the super late game without needing trade or Relics, while also having cheaper Champions (the typical "trash Buster"), they have an advantage against Trashing civilizations (such as Vietnamese, Malay, Berbers, Magyars, Byzantines and Aztecs) in that part of the match.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations Edit

  • Organ Guns, being a siege unit, can be countered by cavalry and particularly light cavalry, Magyar Huszars and Mongol Mangudai. Italian Condottieri and Japanese Samurais are also a threat. They are weak vs other siege units, so civilizations like Celts, Khmer, Slavs and Teutons should take this fact in consideration when facing Organ Guns.
  • Italians can be a very unpleasant rival for Portuguese. First of all, they have Condottieri that can counter Hand Cannoneers, Bombard Cannons and Organ Guns. Secondly they can outtech the Portuguese in naval encounters.
  • Aside from the fact that Caravels excel en masse in naval encounters, they are individually weaker than Galleons. As they work better in large groups, Heavy Demolition Ships can be a response to Caravels, thanks to their splash damage, so civilizations like Chinese (whose demolition ships are bulkier) and Berbers (whose Demolition Ships move faster) can counter masses of Caravels if properly micromanaged and supported. Masses of Korean Turtle Ships may also be a problem, thanks to their tankiness and high pierce armor.
  • Regarding naval warfare, they may have a disadvantage in early game against civilizations that can perform early Galley or Fire Galley rushes, such as Vikings, Byzantines, Persians, Malay, and Berbers, especially in the Feudal Age. Later on, as they lack Shipwright and Fast Fire Ship, they can be overturned by civilizations that have those upgrades for their navy (aside considering the Caravels) especially if the Portuguese don't make use of Feitorias to overcome a late game shortage on wood and gold in water maps.
  • The Feitoria may be a reliable source of Gold, Wood, Food and Stone in several situations (especially in super late game), and is also hardier to destroy by raiding units (like cavalry), but they are less efficient than 20 villagers (Feitorias take 20 population and are also quite expensive), while they also occupy a lot of space, so unless there is a good reason to deploy them is better to avoid using them.
  • Despite the fact that they have cheaper and more accurate Bombard Cannons, the rest of their Siege Workshop is mediocre, so civilizations with better siege (such as Ethiopians and Celts) can overturn them in several situations, especially in the Castle Age. Also, Turk Bombard Cannons have better range and hit points and are created faster, so they can destroy a Portuguese Bombard Cannon at greater distance.
  • Portuguese cavalry is mediocre (aside from costing less gold), so civilizations with better cavalry, good Halberdiers, Monks, Camels or other anti-cavalry unit can eat through Portuguese cavalry armies.
  • Mayans, Incas and Aztecs have Eagle Warriors that can effectively counter Bombard Cannons, Organ guns, Arbalests and Monks, all of which are part of the core units of the Portuguese. Regarding the Bombard Cannons, similar logic can apply to light cavalry civilizations such as Magyars, Huns and Mongols, as light cavalry can catch them with ease and destroy them. Mongol Mangudais also counter the Bombard Cannon. Mongol Rams with Drill filled with infantry may very effectively counter the Portuguese Bombard Cannons, as they move very fast and deal bonus damage against siege.
  • Civilizations with good siege engines (such as Turks, Celts, and Ethiopians) can counter the Portuguese fortifications, as though Portuguese have most defensive technologies and a late game reliable source of stone (the Feitoria), they don't have any particular bonus for them, aside from better accuracy for Bombard Towers.
  • In maps like Arabia, Portuguese will have a hard time against civilizations with early aggression (such as Aztecs, Japanese, Huns and Magyars), as their only early advantage is their cheaper gold costing units.
  • While they have good Monks (as they only lack Illumination, while the Monk is cheaper) and can perform a Monk Rush, they still require heavy micromanagement and can fall apart against the Monks of civilizations like Spanish, Aztecs, and Burmese. Eagle Warriors and Hussars are a huge threat to Monks. So it is better to use them only when the situation requires them.
  • Despite their archery units costing less gold, a civilization like the Mayans will out-pace the Portuguese in archer production, due to their superior archer bonuses, which is something to keep in mind when playing against a Mayan player. Also, other archer civilizations like Britons may control and mow down the Portuguese army at greater distances. The Portuguese also lack Heavy Cavalry Archers and Parthian Tactics, limiting their archery to Hand Cannoneers, Arbalests, and Skirmishers.
  • Since the advantage of their Hand Cannoneers is their cheapness and accuracy, they may fall apart against the Hand Cannoneers of other prominent gunpowder civilizations, such as Indians and Turks. Also, cavalry, skirmishers, anti-archer units and Onagers still pose a threat to them.

Situational advantagesEdit

  • As they have a good tech tree and bonuses for gunpowder, Portuguese are well suited for Post-Imperial matches. Also, in that setting, they can use their Feitorias to rapidly increase their economy, despite being less efficient than villagers.
  • In Deathmatch mode, as the scarcity of gold and stone isn't an issue, they can much more freely spam their gunpowder, ships, Monks, Infantry and Archers, without needing to create Feitorias in the late game.
  • In densely forested or closed maps, like Black Forest, they can wall up and then improve their economy and army, so they get an advantage over early game civilizations. Similar logic can apply in maps like Fortress and Arena, as they start the game walled up.
  • Having most improvements for Monks, while also being cheaper, they may take that as an advantage in the "Capture the relic" game mode.
  • In high population matches (from 300 population cap to 500) their Feitorias are much more useful, since they can be used to increase the player's economy faster in early Imperial Age by deploying houses and then Feitorias, as in these settings the player will not be too constricted by the 20 population cost of Feitorias.
  • Their Team bonus is much more useful in nomad maps, as in this particular setting all allied players will know the starting locations of the villagers of the team enabling them to perform some peculiar tactics (like coordinated villager rushes early on, or reuniting all the team in the same part of the map for better defending themselves).