Yeah, British manir boom is much better than Portuguese boom.
I think the devs wanted to limit the portuguese boom as it is “granted”.
And maybe they initially planned making some civs like ports weaker on land mapas and stronger on water maps (Which I find ti be a bad idea if the differencevis too big). As Portuguese get a safer fish boom thanks to the second TC.
If you compare it to a “normal civ” without eco bonus:
- in case of a naked FF into 3 TC boom (3 settlers + 700c + 1000w) port should end up around 10 settlers ahead (assuming 2nd TC is up 4 minutes earlier and 3rd TC up 1 minute earlier) + 1 age 3 shipment. The longer the 2 TCs are delayed, the more ahead ports will be, unless other civs have settler card or house booms
- French eco bonus is that settlers are 25% better and cost 25% more, which is like being produced faster. They are a little behind for a naked boom, but are better equiped to make army in age 2
- Spanish must compensate this gap with more shipments.
But as you point out, most people feel that in the end, either Portuguese have settler shipments (same amount as normal civs) and get a crazy eco, or do not have them and lag behind every civ with settler shipement, which sounds dumb as Portuguese TC should intuitively lead them to having more settlers.
I also use Furriers, this is often my default cards on maps with little fish and few TPs. I often delay eco theory because it doesnt feel strong as a first card.
I am not a very good player, but I saw on youtube some analysis showing that Furriers + Spice trade as first two cards lead to a nice and safe eco. Furriers feels like a + 2 settlers when you get it (also scaling with number of settlers until you run out of hunts) and delay to need to find new hunt, which overall sounds better than economic theory when you know you will need a lot of food for settler production.
If you have an explanation why economic theory is always better than furriers, I would like to hear it (when going fast forteress into coin intensive units ?), it would improve my build orders.
And a reason why I love playing Portuguese is that I find it “boring” to use a 3 settler card, which is the best card to use for nearly every civ having it on nearly every situation…
I do not use tickle cards except the wood tickle for Russians / Indians and rarely the coin tickle for german/USA. Are the tickle cards that good for civs having a 3 settler card ?
I am always supporting giving a new (viable) age 1 card for portuguese as well.
The devs added a nice TP card for British, but this cards card (along with the virgina company card) feel niche and akward to use as first card due to the 3 settlers card being so strong. And as second card, people often rather wait for a better age 2 card.
Portuguese have more potential here.