Chilly's AOE4 Civilization Concept - The Portuguese

What makes this civ stand out?

  • The Portuguese are all about building up “colonies” around the map (centered around the Feitoria unique structure) and using their repertoire of defensive bonuses (early crossbowmen, powerful gunpowder weapons) to stave off enemy threats.

Notes on the design

Sup folks, this is a civ that I wasn’t originally planning on doing but I got a surprising amount of requests for it that ultimately convinced me!

  • Originally, I was concerned with how culturally similar Portugal is to Spain - would it really make sense to have both empires represented? But after digging into the history a bit, I found plenty of unique mechanics that would give this faction a strong, and fun identity.
  • While my Spanish concept emphasizes early aggression with the Reconquista, this Portuguese concept will focus around defensive booming, inspired by the Portuguese maritime empire.
  • I debated quite a while whether or not to include Almogavars and Ginetes with the Portuguese - these were skirmisher units that had a powerful presence on the Iberian peninsula. I ultimately decided to save those units for Spain (which I plan on revisiting soon), as I didn’t feel like the “hit and run” style fit with this vision of Portgual (which is more about defensive booming).
  • Really interested in hearing ya’lls feedback! Especially from people who have been asking for a Portuguese concept for a while now. How did I do? What would you do differently? I’ll plan on incorporating your feedback into my upcoming video going over this concept.
  • Note that Portugal was primarily a naval power, but I don’t do naval stuff in my concepts. I’m sure you can fill in some blanks. Ie. They might have Nau or Carrack unique ships.


  • Art is by Craig Mullins I believe, originally created for Europa Universalis III. The conquistadors portrayed are not meant to be Portuguese necessarily, but are vaguely Spanish-looking if anything. That being said, the waterfalls depicted resemble the Iguazu Falls in Brazil, which was a Portuguese colony so it kind of fits? I also photoshopped the Portuguese insignia on to the flag to make it more convincingly Portuguese explorers :joy:.
  • Huge shoutout to u/Kameho88v2 as usual, whose Portuguese concept served as the basis for this one. I simply agreed with a lot of what he originally designed - especially the garrisoning Crossbowmen - love that idea! The flag used in this concept was also created by Kameho.
  • Some other concepts that informed this design are - Vickestrel’s Portuguese concept, and this post on the Total War subreddit by a deleted user.

As always, I post all of my concepts on my personal website. Check it out to see the other civs I’ve done designs for!


caralho i just saw ur website with ur civ concepts. jesus those are great man. clap10/10
edit: love u added ck3 and ao3 stuff in there lol well done

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Very nice concept.

I would just add organ guns and some elite knights that are good against heavy armored units.


Yeah I used that post as a reference too. It actually specifically goes over how the Portuguese did NOT use Organ Guns lol. They actually talk about fast-shooting cannons and gunpowder related technology that is kind of a “parallel” to Organ Guns. The “Falconet” cannon I added in this concept is meant to reflect that.

Additionally, the Belem Tower landmark design has a “Ribauldequin” emplacement on it, meant to be a callback to the Organ Gun.

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Pretty good concept like i already said on the reddit post. I like the focus on the Colonial side of it, makes it a different flavour.

I know you dont do naval, but least we forget Caravels and Carracks, they would also be part of the civ identity.

On my concept i had lateen sails, portolan charts and maritime insurance. Fun fact:
In 1293, Denis of Portugal advanced the interests of the Portuguese merchants, and set up by mutual agreement a fund called the Bolsa de Comércio, the first documented form of marine insurance in Europe, approved on 10 May 1293.

Also the oldest continuously serving navy in the world.

The Carrack is already present considering that it’s the name of the Warship used by European civs.

This is why Portugal cant have good things.

But at least Portuguese may still get the Caravel.

Something you might find interesting and maybe move from feitorias a bit using it more as a Market denial building?

"The growing stability within the borders of European countries furthermore did not justify any defensive measures that architecture could provide, hence castles were gradually phased out in favour of more confortable and open manors or palaces.

The one place where the medieval castle lived on for a while longer into the gunpowder era and evolved to a new shape was the Portuguese empire. All of Portugals territories overseas were frontier-like, dangerous, unstable, and prone to outside attack, hence very militarized. This was the case in Brazil, Africa or Asia and in this last continent the locals were acquainted with firearms. Usually this would dissuade folks from seeking to actually live in those regions - Portuguese landowners and officials instead had heavily fortified, firearms-resistant manors built in order to do so and got on with it.

It essentially amounts to a manor outfitted with thick walls, bastions and artillery in order to double as a fort. It experienced sieges by Ahmadnagar and Maratha forces. The Bombay Castle was one of these buildings. Many smaller ones were built like medieval tower-manors commonly found across Portugal, rising amidst the tropical greenery for several stories. Many were constructed around Mumbai, Daman, Bassein, Goa, in Sri Lanka and Timor, where their ruins can still be seen. Cavalry and light infantry were vulnerable against fortification works, hence in the face of overwhelming odds, anything that could serve as a stronghold, such as granaries, churches etc was fortified, and the territory secured almost inch by inch. Even the short walls lining gardens and crop fields were taken into consideration, as they could provide cover to arquebusiers and bog down large armies. Such was life in a hostile frontier.

The residents of these buildings were called foreiros. A foreiro was half-way between a landowner and a petty governor, a veteran to whom the king had awarded lifelong rights to administer and tax a piece of land in exchange for keeping a body of armed men for its defense and the the native militia in order.


I intentionally strayed away from making the Feitoria a defensive building here. We see in game already how buildings that provide economic AND defensive bonuses are overpowered. Examples being the Rus Kremlin and the old TC expansion that had 10 garrison slots and more health.

I did give the Ports plenty of defensive bonuses to help them set up their own bastion of defenses - be it Crossbow-garrisoned outposts or a strong Feudal tower landmark.

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One idea that i had, was using the feitoria as a trade post denial building. Only Ports or allies could send traders there.
Basically build a feitoria over the neutral trade post.

“The Portuguese feitorias were mostly fortified trading posts, built to centralize and thus dominate the local trade of products with the Portuguese kingdom”

Well, if we talk about Factories for Aoe IV, currently (2024), both the Portuguese of AoE2:DE and AoE3:DE have factories, so I don’t see why a theoretical Portuguese CIV couldn’t have them:

  • In AoE2, they are produced since the 4th age, Imperial, as a single commercial building, which is well in line with their time period (Let’s say that the Imperial Age represents the period where they began to make colonies in Africa, India and the current Brazil).

  • In AoE3, they only exist as the Factorias card, since the Definitive Edition version (2021), in theory they affect the Portuguese Town Centers. This happens because when the first 8 civs were created (2005), almost all of them were the same, there were almost no unique letters, except for those sent by the Church. Only since Asian Dynasties (2008) do unique cards appear for the original 8 civ, and in fact, the Factorias icon comes from another card called “House of Braganza”.

  • For AoEIV, considering the time period of the game (800 AD - 1650 AD), it is curious because the Portuguese have existed as a county since 868, and as an independent kingdom since 1139.
    → Considering that they did not begin their marine exploratory career until 1426, the Feitorias could either be a building from the Castle Age, or from the Imperial Age.
    → Regarding its bonuses, it is debatable. Could it even be an Imperial LANDMARK that acts like the Garden of Zhu Xi Legacy plus has some Trade bonus? There are many ideas, and they all seem great.

The design is beautiful, I am glad that it is recognized that the Portuguese deserve their own civ separate from the crown of Spain, and that they have several candidates for unique royal units and not make the mistake again of putting only ribauldequins on them.

Among these as you mentioned are: “Ballesteiro de Conto” (Unique Crossbowman), Villane Knight, and Order Knights of many order, but mainly two: Knight of the Christ Order, Knight of the Avis Order. Also like an imperial unique unit or mechanic could be avalaible via landmarks maybe: Knight of the Order of Tower and Sword.

About another economic bonus… I have my own ideas, but I would share that in my own concept, hehe. I have so many concepts… the problem is that I need time to publish it on the page, and time to upload images, and well, it’s a lot of free time, and right now I’m working.

Take care.