This is a basic fast fortress strategy with the Portuguese. I do not take credit for all of the ideas here, they come from various sources (including many other strategies posted here on Ao3H). The goal of this strategy is to arrive in the enemy base around 8:30 with a substantial force of 19 Cassadores and 5 Musketeers, with waves of 9 Musketeers, 10 Cassadores, 8 Halberdiers, 10 Musketeers/Cassadores, and 2 Organ guns on their heels (from 8:30 until about 11:00, you have a window of continuous military reinforcements). Meanwhile, you are periodically building settlers from three towncenters and you have good map control.
.Rec against Sandbox to show typical build and times.
DEMONSTRATION RECORDING: 2006-04-26 22-58 [Portuguese] TechnoButt Lt. Col 32/ELO 1890 vs [Germans] _FD_-_FD_yanan Col 37/ELO 1940 [ Great Plains ] *broken, need to reupload this*
Typical Build Order
1. Select 5 Settlers and waypoint beyond hunt and Shift-Shoot back towards towncenter to herd.
2. Select 2 Settlers and gather Food, Shift-Food, Shift-Wood, Shift-Food (not gold), Shift-Waypoint beyond hunt, Shift-Shoot back towards towncenter to herd (a second herd if visible).
3. Select Explorer, Scope your enemy town approximate location, gather immediate area treasures, shift-waypoint to find herdables (llama, sheep, cows) in the most likely locations (you'll learn these from practice). Also hunt treasures, food in age1, then gold, then wood.
4. Queue Settlers, until you have a combination of 13 built/queued (14 if no food treasure). Waypoint TC on fallen hunt.
5. When your settlers have gathered 100 wood, build a house with one of them and then Shift-waypoint beyond herd, Shift-hunt.
6. Click to Age at approximately 3 minutes (can be faster!) with 13/14 Settlers, choose 400 Wood politician.
7. Move 4-5 Settlers to gold, depending on treasures. You're looking to have 300 gold total by the time your 700 gold shipment arrives later. You sometimes start with 100. Usually you'll get noguard treasures near your TC and other treasures. Once you have 300 (including the crate you gather now), move to hunts.
8. Queue 2 settlers in your TC, waypoint your TC to a nice cluster of gold/hunts to establish your forward/flanking base.
Arrive in Colonial Age (II) at approximately 4:30 (or faster!)
1. You'll have two shipments available, choose 700 gold and 700 wood.
2. Sometimes you can queue a third settler during Age2, depending on your food quantity. As long as you have 1200+ food, you're golden.
3. Set up your TC in a favorable location to gold/hunts. Waypoint your original TC either on hunts near the new TC or on hunts near the old TC, depending on hunts available.
4. Use 1-2 settlers to gather wood from aging (total will be 400 or 500, depending on starting wood and treasures).
5. Build a trading post with explorer, shift-click build a second if possible (or as soon as you are starting to gather the 700wood shipment).
6. Click to Age3 Fortress at Original Towncenter as soon as you have 1200f/1000g with the 6 Cassadore politician. Continue training settlers at your new towncenter as soon as it goes up. Move your shipment delivery to your new TC.
7. Use a settler at your new TC to build 2 houses, and 1-2 barracks (depending on wood supply). If you can only build 1 barracks, you'll need to shift some settlers to wood (recommend 4). You'll need the third barracks down soon into fortress to translate your .
7. You'll have 15/16/17 settlers upon clicking to age. I split them 8f/2w/5g, with extras going food, then wood, then gold as they spawn. This is a good ratio for training cassies (which you'll soon be doing from 2 barracks).
8. Queue 5 Musketeers to train while aging. Set barracks waypoint to a forward location at your forward base. Set military waypoint from forward TC to same location.
Arrive in Fortress Age (III) at approximately 7:30 (or faster!)
1. Queue at least one Cassadore in each barracks, and add to the queue as you get the food gold. Take advantage of the ability to add to the queue while they train to get up to 10 out faster!
2. You'll have 2 shipments available. I ship 8 Cassadores first and 9 Musketeers second, most of the time.
3. At ~8:30 you will arrive in the enemy base with potentially 24 Cassadores (more likely about 20, depending on how many you can add to those growing queues) and 5 Musketeers, with another 9 Musketeers on the way and a shipment ready by 9:00. I usually go for settlers, which will go into the towncenter. Your units take TC fire pretty well, so I typically take down whatever they've shipped and hug close to their Towncenter. I take down a house first (to poplock) and then military facilities. Yes, this many cassadores can seige.
4. Ship 8 Halberdiers, this is your seige force. I normally am queueing a mixture of halberdiers and cassadores at this point from the barracks. Keep your eyes on settlers trying to slip out, they are fodder to a group of 8 cassadores you've hotkeyed for this purpose. Once you get their house/military buildings down, if you have enough military might (15+ guys) go for their towncenter.
Periodically queue single villagers at each of your towncenters, so your economic growth doesn't stagnate. If your opponent gets out military shipments/mercs, you'll have to do some micro and you'll take some casualties. This normally happens, dont' sweat it. just keep the units coming from your two barracks. Somewhere pretty quickly, you'll want ot build a foundry and start sending culverins and/or organs as needed. Organs own most non-cav mercs, and if you've got an army of halberdiers in cover mode taking down the towncenter, you can take them out of cover to handle cav mercs. If they use black riders or manchu, just use your cassadores/musketeers to deal with them, leaving your halberdiers in cover to take down the TC.
Your biggest problems with the ports are:
1- Falconets, this is why I hug the TC. If you're on top of falconets when they spawn, you can squash them before they get a second shot, which is enough to put you ahead on the exchange.
2- Fort. Do not let him get a fort up at any costs. Well placed forts are the bane of Ports. I'm afraid if Ports become more successful, you will see people using 2x Forts when possible.
The beauty of this strat is that if it fails to wipe them out with this infantry rush, it certainly slows their economy. Meanwhile, you're booming from three towncenters, which puts you at ~30 settlers in less than 15 minutes (WHILE FIGHTING). Just don't forget to train settlers, even if it means you can't max out your barracks queues.
I've found this strat to be very effective against anyone playing:
-Any Fast Fortress (with slight tweaks), including Germans
-Any Fast Industrial (with slight tweaks)
I've found this strat to be weak against experts playing:
-Ottoman Age2 Janis Rush followed up with Grenadiers
-Russian Age2 Grenadier Rush
-Other Portuguese players (dear god what a long and boring game this makes for)
Tweaks against various strats/civs:
Russian/Otto Age2 Rush
These two civs do approximately the same thing, although russians bring in grenadiers quicker than ottos, but ottos are better at supressing settlers and taking down houses with their janissaries. I add Colonial Militia and Improved Buildings to help thwart these attacks. It's important to build a barracks in age2 to work these guys. If they come early, you need to use the 8 xbow shipment and build additional xbows. If they come late in age2, you should play through to fortress for the cassadores. I have to admit, I'm pretty bad against an expert rusher (who can keep his economy growing while he rushes). Colonial Militia is very nice because it can take down falconets at range when you have 10 villagers garrisoned (long before the 2 falconet shipment can take down your towncenter).
Spain and/or Germany
I like to put the 5 Dragoon shipment into my deck for these civs. Germany gets free uhlans and Spain is going to use his Lancers. Goons are great at taking these down, plus have the added ability to now go into melee to take down the 2 falconet shipment.
I've had some trouble with experts playing this strat. They seem to get critical mass of longbows before I can effectively stop them. Against Britain lately, especially on maps like Texas and Great Plains, I try to hit their weakness (distance to wood). I've added more and more heavy cavalry, and I've found building two stables and supplementing your shipments with upgraded hussars is VERY powerful against the British. You'll need to use your infantry to take down outposts, but then you can sandwich hiding settlers between infantry and your hussar block. Keep the brits settlers moving and you'll be able to win. If you let him get his manorboom on, you're in trouble (as is anyone).
Ideas for Future Additions:
1-Experimenting with Church Card, 2000 wood seems like a lot for a shipment of xbowmen, but Bestieros look really powerful on paper. I think they would play out much like the 'critical mass of longbows' in use by experts. They really deal out the punishment. I also think having 12 black rider-like units in fortress for 2000 wood might be strong.
2-Increasing use of Organ Guns. They are very strong against everything except cavalry and other seige. So far, I can't decide they are worth their weight.. but if i have a huge stockpile of gold for some reason.. I usually spawn 3-4 of them to support my forces. They really chew through settlers.
3-Natives-Other than Nookta and Maya, which are powerful for anyone, I haven't enjoyed much success with natives.
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