Faction Overview Portugal in Rise of Chivalry Portugal in Renovatio Europam
The Portuguese have the Power of Navigation. They replace the Greeks.
Faction Type: Catholic
National Bonuses:
Portuguese Flag
Unique Units:


  • [1] Brigand
  • [2] Almogavar
  • [3] Gajnal Mahout; Yangombi Impi
  • Chartres Cathedral
  • Apostolic Palace
  • Sagres Point

Suggestions and spoilersEdit

  • 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 summaryEdit

  • 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 opponenent's light cavalry and infantry, but be wary of gunpowder units, heavy archers, camels and Mongol nomads.

Settlements: Guimarães; Coimbra; Faro; Oriola; Alcobaça; Leiria; Santarem; Thomar; Castelo Branco; Lisboa; Porto; Lagos; Sagres; Vilo do Infante; Amadora; Vila Nova de Gaia; Agualva-Cacém; Queluz; Silves; Sintra; Alcacer do Sal; Mertola; Almodovar; Evora; Braga; Lamego; Viseu; Funchal; Setúbal; Aveiro; Rio Tinto; Ponta Delgada · Matosinhos; Beja; Almada; Sacavem; Amora; Leiria; Faro; Évora; Barreiro; Póvoa de Varzim; Ermesinde; Viana do Castelo; Maia; Covilhã; Portimão; Odivelas

Leaders: Henry the Navigator, John the Good, Alfonso the African, Alfonso d'Albuquerque, Duarte I, Theresa, Alfonso the Fat, Dennis the Farmer, Vimara Peres, Lucidio

Best age(s): Imperial


Lusitania and the Late Roman periodEdit

Despite the long presence of indigenous cultures in Iberia, it was not until after the Second Punic War that Iberia and its people would begin to make their presence felt on a global level. During the war, the Romans ingeniously attacked the Carthaginians in their homeland and in a stunning victory at Zama, forced the Carthaginians to cede all of their colonial possessions, including Iberia, to Rome. The Romans would extend their control over the region beyond the Carthaginian colonies into the rest of the Iberian peninsula over the next two hundred years, finally managing to pacify the Peninsula by 27 BC once and for all. Iberia was subsequently divided into three provinces: Tarraconense and Baetica (present-day Spain) and Lusitania (roughly present-day Portugal).

The Romans did not only leave their imprint in the region administratively, but even successfully established their culture over the occupied tribes therein. Every aspect of Iberic culture was effected, if not completely supplanted through the process of Latinisation. The only exception was the Basque, or Vasconians as they were called. All Iberic citizens were granted Roman citizenship, and enjoyed the same rights as those who were natives of Latium. The Iberians would even offer one of their own brethren, a soldier known to us as Trajan, as a Roman Emperor. Trajan would not only became the Emperor of the Roman Empire, but one of its most successful and celebrated rulers.

The Visigothic KingdomsEdit

Barbarian incursions became more and more prevailent as Roman authority sputtered out over the course of the Dark Ages, but it was the Visigoths who would eventually take over as overlords of the overwhelming majority of the native Hispano-Romans. As Roman influence waned, the Visigoths elected their own king, and established Toledo as capital in 484, and proceeded to efface all imperial influence throughout the Peninsula, from the Pyrenees to Gibraltar, which form natural barriers which Spain would hold as its borders to this day. Christianity, originally little more than an obscure religious sect during Roman rule, soon became ensconced as the religion of the Visigothic rulers.

By the 7th century, however, the Visigothic kingdom was only nominally united. Their system of elected Kings created rival factions which encouraged foreign intervention by the Greeks, the Franks, and, finally, the Muslims.

Under the rule of the ArabsEdit

Beginning in 711, Muslim expeditions crossed into Spain, and killed the king of the Visigoths, who until that time had been ruling Iberia since the day they first arrived there. They quickly swept through Spain, aided by the vast Roman road system, and were able to subjugate the Goths easily, due to the political disarray of the nobility. Muslim forces spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula and eventually crossed the Pyrenees into the domain of the Franks (in modern day France), reaching as far as Poitiers by 732. Despite this, there were a number of holdouts in the North that would be able to not only resist the new invaders, but go on create the modern states of Portugal and Spain, but their time would not come well until half a millenium or so later.

Nonetheless, these newcomers left lasting influences on Lusitanian culture, transmitted into Spain itself through Arabised Christians who were known as musta'rabeen or, in Spanish, mozarabes (in later years of the Muslim occupation of Spain), the evidence of which can be seen to this day. It is not uncommon to travel throughout Hispanic nations to discover that Arab-style tiling is often used for decoration of houses, or to discover many words in modern-day Spanish and Portuguese which are in fact loanwords from old Arabic.

Reconquista and Leonese RuleEdit

Once the Umayyad-founded Emirate of Cordoba was extinguished, however, Islamic power in Spain began to wane. As power shifted from one ruling dynasty to another and local Spanish Muslims quarreled with their Berber rivals, the Christians were making headway, taking advantage of the vacuum of power left behind by the Umayyads in Lusitania. In 868, a Galician warrior, Vimara Peres, captured a swathe of land between the Minho and Douro rivers located in the highlands south of Galicia, and founded a small settlement called Vimaranes (now Guimarães, near present-day Braga, Portugal). This town eventually evolved into a small county, subject to the Galician crown and was called Portus Cale, or "Portugal". The County gained further lustre with the rise of its countess Mumadona Dias in the mid-10th century, who initiated many construction projects in the town and the surrounding countryside, including its cathedral and a castle. An abortive revolt in the 11th century however saw the death of count Nuno, and the County was annexed directly to the Crown of Galicia.

In the meantime, the mountains south of Galicia were liberated from Moorish domination, and were subsequently added on to the "County of Portugal", which remained subject to Galician, then Leonese rule. A French volunteer to the Reconquista, Henry of Burgundy, was married to a young Spanish noblewoman and elected as its count. His son, Alfonso Henriques, would continue the Reconquista in Portugal, and would continue increasing his holdings in Portugal, while subject to the kingdom of Leon, just as how the descendants of William the Conqueror continued to unify England under their rule while being French vassals.

The defeat of his stepfather (who married Alfonso's mother, Theresa, after his father Henry died) in 1128 outside São Mamede, and his driving out a Muslim invasion force at Ourique during the Feast of Saint James in 1139 would help consolidate Alfonso Henrique's rule over the land. Awed by his military prowess, Muslim adversaries would dub him as Ibn Arrik, or "son of Henry", and "Ibn Arrik" would soon accept as well the title of "Prince" or "Infante". The Treaty of Zamora, agreed upon by Lusitanian, Spanish and Papal representatives would mark Portugal's first step toward independence, but it would be 40 years after Ourique before Alfonso Henriques would be recognised as her monarch, styled Dom Afonso I of Portugal, with Papal approval.

The House of AvizEdit

By the time he passed away, king Alfonso's realm had doubled its size. Under his descendents, Portugal saw many changes: the establishing of a permanent civil code of law; a formal alliance with the English; the increase in Portuguese holdings in Iberia; and the Treaty of Alcanizes, in which the Christian rulers of the Iberian peninsula unanimously recognised the borders of the new kingdom. Yet, there would soon be trouble. In 1383, the Portuguese monarch, Fernando, passed away without leaving a suitable heir, and the country soon faced civil war. Rival nobles vied for power while foreign powers attempted to make their influence felt in the nation, but eventually, a chivalric order, the Order of Aviz, set its Master, João, as king.

The Hundred Years' War spilled into Portugal as a Franco-Castillian army was sent to dethrone João, now styled John I, but was defeated near Aljubarrotta by Anglo-Portuguese forces in 1385, cementing further the House of Aviz' hold on the throne and its alliance with England. The new king, soon dubbed "John the Good" or "John the Great", was an unusual man: described as a "powermonger", and yet considered a highly enlightened and charitable personality, João's experience as master of a chivalric order also meant that he was a well-learned and cultured man, and his intellectual tendencies and love of learning would soon rub off him onto his own sons (his successor Duarte was an author in his own right), laying the seeds for the Age of Discovery and the foundation of the Portuguese overseas empire.

King João's third son, Infante Henrique, would not ascend the throne, but his patronage of the arts and sciences would allow him to eclipse the fame of his elder brother Edward, or Duarte I of Aviz: this Infante came to be better known to the English-speaking world as Henry the Navigator.

New Nation, New EmpireEdit

Although Afonso IV made the first investments to establish Portuguese naval power, it was not until the rule of House Aviz that the seeds of Portuguese influence were sown throughout the world. Although Portugal would eventually lose military influence to Spain and economic influence first to the Dutch and then the British, its empire was the most long-lived of Europe's empires, beginning in the 16th century and ending only at the beginning of the 21st with the handover of Macao to the People's Republic of China.

The first phase of Portuguese exploration and colonisation began with the crusades. In an attempt to compete against the Islamic world, military expeditions were sent out under various orders to North Africa and beyond, but these soon became expeditions intent on creating wealth via trade or conquest instead. Maderia and the Azores were discovered in time for Duarte's successor, Alfonso V "the African" to inherit them; six decades later, Bartolomeu Dias reached Cabo de boa Esperança (Cape of Good Hope). With the African coast mapped out, Portugal's next target was Asia. For almost the whole length of the Middle Ages, Venice and her Muslim allies had a stranglehold on the spice trade, which allowed for the growth of the Venetian empire and the Golden Age of Islam in both Spain and the Middle East. The Battle of Diu, pitting the all-new Portuguese carrack against Venetian-built galleys off the Indian coast, smashed Arabo-Venetian control of the spice trade and opened the waters of Southeast Asia to the Portuguese. This they soon followed up by sending the sultan of Melaka (now Melaka state in present-day Malaysia) packing in 1511, and eventually reached China by 1513. Japan was reached by 1542. Portuguese activity in Asia also coincided with attempts to colonise present-day Brazil as well.

The results were astounding. In the span of almost two centuries, Portugal had founded colonies around the African coast, granting it access to a steady supply of gold, commodities and slaves through trade, and was also making headway in the Amazon as well. It was this network of trade which allowed Portugal to ship spices back to Europe from Asia, across the African coast that maintained Portuguese prestige and power for at least 200 years, but the remoteness of Portuguese outposts and their ill-treatment of natives would attract the eye of other rivals. By the 17th century, Portuguese power in Asia would be usurped by the Dutch, and eventually the British would build their own empire over waters where the Portuguese once sailed supreme in Africa and Asia.