Portuguese Balance Discussion

Edit : The topic as shifted we started by talking about portuguese cavalry and later in this post started talking about the general balance

Is there a reason Portuguese have bad cavalry?

In my mind, we can approach the issue from two sides, from a historical (and thematical) point of view and from a balance standpoint. I am no expert in either field but I thought I’d share my thought either way.

As far as I know, Portugal always had good cavalry. Their horses are known to be quite sturdy, strong, and obedient even to this day. The quality of their horses is quite on par with the Spanish horses (I won’t debate which of the Lusitano or Andalusian breed is the best, they are very similar and both have been used in war to great effect). (obviously, because the countries are so close to each other)

Portugal also has had multiple orders of mounted knights in its history. Though it is less well known.

Now, we could argue and be quite right that Portugal in Aoe:2 was added in African kingdoms for a reason. And few horses were transported inside ships because it was hard and travel by boat usually meant horse would need a few months to a year to be back in shape after a long journey on the sea. That could explain why we don’t see Portugal with a large number of horses. If that is the reason then one would have to ask why is it that the Spanish have access to so many mounted units in their tech tree when part of their identity in the game is them fighting with the Aztecs which are also quite a long way by boat (maybe they don’t need that hussar upgrade, just sayin’…).

From a civ balance perspective, I would argue that the Portuguese civ does not risk becoming broken and they should have access to the paladin. This has great implications. Especially when their units cost less gold. I am aware of it but it would leave Portugese’s weaknesses pretty much unchanged in the early game where they struggle the most with only a few relevant bonuses.
Knowing their horses are strong but not particularly known for their speed, leaving them without hussars seems fair.

I would like to know your thoughts on the matter, tell me if a forget something important or if I am flat out wrong on one aspect, I would be very interested.

Thanks for the read!

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The game isn’t always historically accurate (Chinese with almost no gunpowder, Turks without siege engineers, goths being an infantry civ, mamelukes riding camels and throwing swords, meso civs are all sorts of wrong)<. As is portuguese already get cavalier with full upgrades and costing less gold. It’s hard to justify buffing their cavalry any further

I agree with your first point, the game doesn’t need to be historically accurate. I respect that point entirely.

The question to me is would the Portuguese become broken or unfun with access to the Paladin? Their winrate is a bit underwhelming and I don’t think buffing a late game unit would address their weakness enough to improve it to the point we see them in the top 10 civs. Rather, if we only win something thematically and don’t get anywhere close to breaking the balance of the game I would argue it should be added.
Thanks for the answer and for explaining shortly a point I have in mind but do truly gloss over in my original post. You put it quite clearly, thanks again

Edit *I added LATE GAME in the title for it is more precise. and to be more precise is better.

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I feel like giving them paladins would do little to help them win more standard games while annoying people who don’t like feitorias to no end.


Might be especially considering with gold discount.

True enough. 15% less gold on paladin is harsh. Hmm. I guess the way the civ bonuses are set up for portuguese right now just cannot mix well with good/decent cavalry in imperial age. It goes from not that good to overpowered with no middle ground.

A bit sad but oh well. That’s how it is
(Edit: it would not be fun to face off with that onslaught
in a game that reaches the late game and would make cavalry too central for portuguese while not fixing their weakness in the early game)

Their cheap FU cavaliers are already strong, there is no need to also give them paladin. Probably for 1v1 it would make them OP, but there is that risk for team games.


portuguese are still worst 3 civ according to the newly released statistic in the other forum post here (the one with confidence intervals) wich is absolutely no supsrise, people have always bee overstating the gold discount or that minor tech speed that ended up increase the winrate by 1%?

i dont think adding late game techs would really help them either. while i would support an elite organ gun and handcannon buff any day.

in order to make the better they need something, anything, that gives them a unique way to play to can actaully do better than others (before imp). currently they a worse than mayans for archers and wrose than berber for cav.

here is my suggestion:
receive 50 stone on reaching feudal
receive 75 stone on reaching castle
receive 100 stone on reaching imp.

that is in feudal you get half a tower for free or some stone walls, if you safe it up you can have 125 in castle free for faster castle or an extra tc, or one more tower,

in imp if saved up its 225 stone, enough for 1 feitoria or 1/3 of an extra castle.

this bonus is worse than incas bonus, or franks bonus for castles, or mayan bonus for walling.
But it gives them atealst something for a unique playstyle. currently they are ultra generic

lastly we cant really buff the lategame because feitorias have never been changed into a actually balanced way for all elos and game modes. feitorias are ■■■■ tier on 1v1 200 pop, and god tier on ilands, ffa or 400 pop games and especially in lower elo. if we add good lategame techs it just cuases even more drama, so unfortuenly cant happen.

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Should we perhaps create a new subject or change the topic name into “Discussion of Portuguese Balance” ?

sounds good, but its your post^^. if my answer is offtopic then maybe jsut mark it as such and it will get removed. sorry for that.

also why is this tagged as aoe3 balance? am i in the wrong board?

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Nah nah it’s good I would like to talk about that! I’ll do that right away^^

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Just adding a bonus for more stone by age seems a non-elegant way of buffing the civ. Why stone for Portugese? It’s thematically strange.

What about a rework of the Feitoria ?

It’s role RN is really niche and stuck between absolutely weak in most cases and OP in some others.

Multiple suggestions :

1)Maybe make the Feitoria a building you can only build a few of (1-3) and bring down the villager cost.

  1. I would simply suggest as the feitoria is supposed to be a weird mix between a trading post and a factory, to make it replace the market for Portugese. You make it so you have to first put ressources in the Feitoria and the feitoria would then "improve the value of what is stached in it while slowly depleting.

How it would work:
The Feitoria/market would be somewhere where villager would be able to drop off resources.
When they do the Feitoria Stocks it .

Let’s say,

You put 10 food in it, It doesn’t go into your stock it instead goes inside the Feitoria, Slowly the stock of the Fetoria depletes and as it does it gives you more food than you put in.
maybe 30-50% more. The more of a ressource the feitoria has the faster it consumes. This would be interesting as it would make you have to balance what you put inside the feitoria, when do you start “investing” in the feitoria and the cost of the building. Short term and long term would have to be balanced and Risk vs reward also, (as it would be more beneficial to build a Feitoria next to gold or stone than near food )

  1. Feitoria as a market V2
    when you trade you get of every resources based on the prices at the market ( you should get a little bit less gold but you get a bit of everything alongside it to make up for it) you can send trade carts to your town center (or another of your own feitoria) for a (way) lower amount of resources.

Tell me what you think about those versions of the feitoria.

Edit : removed the Aoe3-balance tag which was a mistake from my part

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i jsut dont think the devs want to fundamentally change the feitorias at this point in time. they would have in my opinion long time ago if they had the slightest intention to ever do it. So i dont expect any complicated garrison, or market thing ever.

there were discussion before, like increasing pop cost per feitoria 0´making have just 1 or 2 more favouarble but having alot worse,
the discusionn of just allowing a set fiyed amount like 2 tc for cumans in feudal but at lower pop cost like 10.
i always hoped they could make the first feitoria pop cost free to make it an actuall eco bonus

i dont think it will happen, has been discussed too often ever since african kingdoms released.
As long as feitorias dont change portugals imperial age tech tree cant change either. squirrer could be added but no siege or cav I think.

lets try brainstorming reasonable ealry game bonuses that make portugal play uniquely!

New bonus idea: can train 3 men at arms for free upon reaching feudal age, can train 5 longsword free upon reaching castle, can train 8 two handed upon reaching imp. It should work like cuman mercs.
This bonus refelcts the historical influx of crusaders from western europe that help them in the reconqista.

I had proposed before the Portuguese research buff. I am afraid it may be too much for Portuguese now. Outpost cost no stone to compensate the almost negligible team bonus.

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put a useful team bonus in its place ?
The team bonus and feitoria are the weak points of the design

Too much? They never got much better, still easily top 5 worst civs. Recent tournament appearances werd all disastrous, teaching pros to stay away in the future most likely.

The tech speed bonus was way too tame. You can’t fix on of the worst civs in the game by giving them a mediocre buff at best.

Look at teutons, Bulgarians or Khmer. That’s what Portuguese need.

If we continue with minor changes then they will just stay bad for ever. Khmer are pretty balanced now. Do Portuguese need to stay know as arguably worst civ in the game?

I know somebody has to be worst, and It can be Portuguese, but only after the gap of best and wrist civs has been closed. We are not there yet.

By the point the game reaches imp you are too far behind as Portuguese, and their imperial age is far from being outstandingly amassing to cover up.

Their imp is fine, like Japanese but that’s about it.

Even then the civ doesn’t have any special strategy it excels at, unlike most other civs. It’s so so generic.

Discounted monk, siege push is propably the only thing they excel at,but gold discount aren’t as important in castle age since it collects fast and you don’t need to worry about it running out at this point in game.

They get average all units. In imp their units fall behind when it comes to the best unit upgrades but you get a slight discount. More one dimensional civs have huge advanategas. Their is always a civ that can do it better. Being a jack of all trades, good for nothing, is not rewarded it age of empires that much. Else Huns would suck but they don’t!

Ports need their own unique playstyle to dictate games instead of being all game on the back foot having to react to your opponents strengths.


what tournament do you refer too? RBW3 saw them go 5 and 2. between the qualifiers and the main tournament.
2v2 WC saw them go 9-10 which isn’t terrible.
they are 4-6 in HC4 qualifers so far, which is still better then some civs are doing.

that’s because that’s what the civ is. they are a jack of all trades civ who saves GOLD ON ALL UNITS and gets ALL TECHS Faster, but doesn’t get any bonuses to their units.
just because your average player can’t take advantage of their strengths doesn’t mean anything.

Chinese say hi.

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Less expensive fishing boats?
Mayan bonus but only on fish?
More in keeping with the theme of good technology, stronger fish traps maybe cheaper and/or sooner?

I don’t think the Portuguese are in a similar state as the Chinese.
Chinese got twice the play rate and a healthier winrate overall.
The buff on technology speed is very minor and doesn’t address in anyway the main weakness of portuguese. It’s impact is mostly felt in later stages of the game .
A few seconds on loom and feudal tech upgrades does not solve their issues.
Their late game is fine and it’s okay if they have an harder early game than most but a way to speed up the process like other late game oriented civs would be welcome. The" sword of damocles" gameplay they seem to have going on in the late game is also unhealthy. Other avenues should be encouraged


no the point was that Chinese are a Jack of All Trades civ, and are a good civ despite that. so his claim about Jack of All Trades not being good in aoe2 is bunk. Malians are also a jack of all trades civ, as are Japanese.