Iberian Catholic Factions: Spain vs. Portugal

#1crusading1Posted 4/16/2008 6:59:12 AM
I hardly ever read reviews of game-play as the Portuguese. One article I read stated that they have the same troops as the Spaniards but with different names. However, several of these nearly-identical units seem to break in favor of Portugal (e.g., Lusitanian Javelinmen are better than their Spanish counterparts, as are Portuguese Arquebusiers), and Portugal also seems to have a much better heavy infantry core with the Dismounted Portuguese knights and the very impressive Aventuros pike unit.

I suppose the Spaniards win out on cavalry with Chivalric Knights, but Portugal seems to even this advantage out if they obtain the Knights of Santiago guild. Otherwise, the two factions are identical as to naval units and siege units.

So why no love for the Portuguese? Anyone out there ever play a campaign as this faction? If so, what was your experience? If you've played as both Spain and Portugal, which was your favorite? Am I missing anything distinctive about Spain that makes them superior (other than Sword and Buckler Men)? Is it that they have a better starting position?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
#2TriplanetaryPosted 4/16/2008 7:16:57 AM
Portugal has a really awful starting position, though it's not that hard to kick Spain's ass early on.
---
It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
#3crusading1(Topic Creator)Posted 4/16/2008 10:14:31 AM
I want to ask a couple more questions related to Portugal: what exactly is a "professional" unit, versus other late-period high technology units? The supposed weakness of Portugal is that they lack professional armies, but other than Sword and Buckler Men and Chivalric Knights, I know of no other unit the Spanish have and the Portuguese don't that could be called "professional." Is it extra training these troops get that somehow boosts their morale or something in battle? It doesn't seem to make a difference as far as attack/defense stats.

Also, I agree that Portugal has a rough starting position. For one thing, having only one general to the east of the Spanish makes it incredibly difficult to expand into Bordeaux and especially Valencia before your rivals do. Any favored method for starting this campaign? I'm tempted to just go straight for the Moorish territories from Lisbon, but are the Moors too strong at first to launch a city-based assault against them?
#4ng1294Posted 4/16/2008 5:35:02 PM
I think "professional" units means units you train out of your castles and stuff not militia. Yes I don't know what that means when it says Portugal lacks proffesional armies because they don't they actually have better armies than Spain other than cavalry.
#5AvaniarPosted 4/17/2008 8:19:35 AM
Well I must say I unlocked every faction with the cheat of swapping the text on the txt file, and my first ever grand campaign was yesterday-today from 00:15 to 6:30 (yeah i didn't wanna believe it myself, and i'm working since 9am lol, this thing's addictive) with the Portuguese.
The reason I chose the portuguese it's because I am one lol and quite frankly I wanted to see if they were depicted as being any good. I'm playing the short campaign not the long on, so the objectives are obliterate Spain and the Moors and win 15 territories.
I must say one thing position on the map sucks?!? Who blasphemes such a thing? The portuguese position for me was brilliant, I started right away going against Spain, leaving my Lisbon troops garrisoned and started recruiting and building in Lisbon. The thing is I knew right away that I needed to be quick on the Spanish or they might get too far away if they put any fight on the french (hey it's my first time around so gimme a break if that's not true lol). So I started going after the regions nearer to the french border, solidifying myself there and then pincering the Spanish between Lisbon troops and Northern Iberian Peninsula troops, I had taken then out by turn 10, give or take a few. I'm usually not a very big fan of siege battle becase tey require too much zooming in and out so i played all on automatic. After conquering and eliminating the Spanish, their troops scattered and turned into rebels or died. After that came the regrouping and establishing myself as the future ruler of the Paeninsula (and subsequently Northern Africa). I just grabbed myself an anormous entourage and decided to hit the Moors right where it hurt the most and kick their buttocks on back to Northn Africa. Thus cleansing the Paeninsula I caught on to Valencia (Rebel town) and started tossing my lot o the Pope, unfortunately a Crusade on Algeirs was out of the question. However a crusade on Antioch started so I got a nice army to go crusading, unfortunately they went crusading through northern Africa and ended up losing a fight to the Moors. I must say I got kicked out of Nothern Africa twice and driven back. But hey we portuguese were always stubborn so I decided to bring along lotas of Jinetes, mailed knights, Spearmen and crossbowmen, alogn with crusading mercenary sargeants and knights I had bought when on crusade. I lunged myself at the first city just south the border and took it after loosing quite a bit of men to their Faction Leader, the Sultan Whatsitsname. However I nailed the guy MWAHAHAHA. After that I went to Algiers and nailed them them down too. The Moor faction Prince was near Valencia at that time and I couldn't kill him because of the number of troops he traveled with, they always retreated. But they scatered. Anyway I sabotaged some stuff along the way, assassinated plenty of Spanish and Moor Generals and managed to infiltrate into some towns. I liked using the portuguese, I even got a guy into the Preferati twice in a row. My problem now are the Fench, stinkin' guys, their fleets are blockading my ports. Though we are currently at a stalemate to that, my land troops will now start ripping Europe apart starting with the French, but I won't use boats on them, that I can guarantee.
Well I hope that helped. If I don't perish til then tonight I will rule Europe and finish the grand (short lol) campaign.
By the way a bit off topic and noob, I really wanted to automatically resolve battles and still see them, can I put the CPU fighting itself with my Army, is that possible? Thanks and sorry for the off-topic.
#6crusading1(Topic Creator)Posted 4/18/2008 5:51:20 AM
If you want to watch a "simulated" battle, you need to select the option to fight the battle, and once you get to the setup on the battle field there's an option in the lower right part of the screen to place any unit you choose under AI control. Thus, I imagine you could do this with your entire army.

I agree that siege battles are a big pain, but they are the best chances to really make a difference in a hopeless battle. This is especially so in defense of a settlement, but you are also able to attack other settlements from all sides with your ladders, etc. The AI tends to ram all of its siege troops through the front entrance. I'd say expect heavy casualties anytime you leave this work to the AI. In the long run, it may save you time to do all the zooming in and out.
#7crusading1(Topic Creator)Posted 4/22/2008 5:55:28 AM
Alright, I finally got around to launching another long campaign with Portugal on H/H. This time, I seem to have caught the right breaks and/or made the right moves in the early going. To summarize:

I first took the long, slow step of moving an army with my faction heir by sea in the cog that is docked next to Lisbon, leaving behind the king and an army big enough to defend the capital in case the Moors moved in. I sailed the other cog, adrift near Pamplona, over in the direction of the first cog. The idea is to get the faction heir and this army to my Eastern front. Moving by sea is treacherous in the early going with all the pirate ships out there, so I would have the army disembark on the Spanish coast at the end of each turn. It's likely the faction won't see you doing it, so you won't have to risk hurting your relations.

Simultaneously, of course, I took the army stationed outside Pamplona, with some added troops from the castle, to take the nearby rebel settlement (name escapes me at the moment--Zaragosa maybe?). By turn 2, you should be ready to assault with only a battering ram. It's not that difficult a settlement to take.

Now, the next moves after that are less obvious. I decided to use my seabound army to invade Bordeaux even if the French had taken it from the rebels by then. I soon discovered they had taken it, but only a single unit of mailed knights sat in the castle. If you time your assault right, you can lay siege before they're able to recruit anything else. I auto-resolved the battle and only lost 2 men.

After taking Zaragosa, I realized the Spaniards were leaving the rebel coastal settlement Valencia ripe for the taking. Don't take this next move lightly, as it is well-fortified. I used some of my missile troops, some jinetes, my general, some spear militia, and a couple of mercenary crossbowmen and laid siege until the army was forced to sally forth. It still wasn't an incredibly easy encounter, but I managed to dispatch them with heavy reliance on my missiles.

(Continued in next post)
#8crusading1(Topic Creator)Posted 4/22/2008 5:57:11 AM
(Continued from above)

Now in control of Lisbon, Pamplona, Bordeaux, Zaragosa, and Valencia, it is time to lick the wounds a bit and prepare for the next few steps. Be aware that France WILL attempt to take back their castle. They sent nearly a full stack (2 or 3 mailed knights, some sergeant spearmen, several peasant archer units, spear militia) from the North--whereas I was busy watching my Southeastern front. Fortunately, this wasn't the greatest army, but it still caught me napping with a couple of peasant crossbows, a jinete unit, some spear militia and some peasants. Plus, my faction heir was in the settlement waiting to be butchered. The scales were tipped way in the AI's favor, but as I've learned before victory is achievable.

Advice on building and recruiting: income stream has been tight even with the conquests I have managed so far. The only units I've recruited have been of the free upkeep type or, at Pamplona, the Lusitanian Javelinmen. These are only 100 florin upkeep, and they are easily superior to the javelimen recruitable by the Spanish. I built mines in Lisbon, as these provide a whopping 400 florin per turn. Word to the wise with your lone merchant is to plant him on the iron core near Spain's initial castle. Keep your cardinal in Lisbon, as you will want to solidify Catholicism there. With other priests you recruit, it may be best to send them down to Moorish territories to build up their piety. My diplomat is almost done with his long trek to Northern Italy, where he will negotiate trade rights with Milan, HRE, Venice, Sicily, and the Papal States. I will make an alliance with the Pope (I always do), and perhaps with some other faction like Milan or the HRE, who will be at war with the French as well.

However, Northern Italy will be my first target later on, once I make my next few moves on the Iberian Peninsula to take out Spain and the Moors. I have heard advice to start with the other Catholic faction before they expand and become excommunication-bait. My approach instead, given my current situation, is to contain them and get to the Moors first as I build up my standing with the Pope. There may even be a crusade possible against them, especially if the Moors beat Sicily to Tunis in Northern Africa. With only two settlements and nowhere to go, the Spanish are not likely to keep pace with my development. This may have been a different story they had taken Valencia like they were supposed to. However, Bordeaux could have easily been in rebel hands if the French had not succeeded (often this happens), in which case an alliance with the French would have been in the cards--though doubtful still. Toulouse will be a nice addition for me now that we're at war, and I can probably manage the same element of surprise but from the Mediterranean this time. However, having just Bordeaux and Pamplona is sufficient to produce a good fighting force with which to unite the Iberian.

Anyhow, those are my own thoughts--I put them out there since I've never seen a preview of Portugal's grand campaign and someone else may find these observations useful. Portugal really has some great potential if you can navigate through the opening well enough and don't get hemmed in to just three settlements with 2 of your 3 generals stranded in Lisbon while the other one attempts to take three or four settlements by himself. Think about it: they get better javelin and heavy infantry units (dismounted Portuguese knights; aventuros pikemen) than do the Spanish, and when it comes to gunpowder, siege, and naval technology, the two are on par--except Portugal actually wins out with their arquebusiers, who are great melee fighters. The only drawbacks are the lack of a light infantry unit like Sword and Buckler Men or a winning cavalry unit. To make up for the latter, just be sure you opt for the Knights of Santiago guild.

Good luck.
#9AvaniarPosted 4/24/2008 4:04:17 AM
Well I return once more after ending the grand short campaign two days ago.
As I ended my last post I was at war with the Frenchies, having already completed two thirds of my short campaign objectives (obliterate the Moors and Spain).
I actually managed to build a decent fleet and start whooping french boatbutt everytime they blockaded a port. I didn't attack them though, just started clearing the blockades.
I actually used the toggle_fow cheat because I was becoming fed up with not knowing jack of the map, since this was my first campaign. Boy was I in for a show, the map was huge lol ok noob time's up, moving on.
As I contemplated the marvel of Europe I saw I had 2 or 3 more regions in africa under Marrakesh and Algiers I could conquer. So down I went deep into African territory. I conquered the one or two territories deirectly under mine, but when I tied to conquer Arguis, the Western most part of North Africa, I couldn't get there by land or by sea. After about 10 or 15 turn I quit trying to conquer that and figured it was due to lack of boats that could cross deep waters.
So I conquered the other region(s) that was(were) Rebel in Africa and moved over some merchants and priests just for the cash and quiet of the zone.
After getting me some hard earned cash, I started once again building up my strength.
Just when I was about to make my move on France, they got a Pope elected and the idiot called a crusade on Antioch (Mongol territory now), which had to be answered by my Prince.
Even playing on Easy the AI sure knows how to mess plans up for the Player. Seeing as the guy didn't want to get on a boat, and I didn't enjoy the prospect of actually losing the boat with the Prince and a ton of troops on board to the French or Milanese Armada, I started walking there, grabbing some mercs along the way. Unfortunately I had misunderstood the instructions and put my King and another Family Member on the Crusade as well. Along the way Tbilisi was Rebel and so I thought, seeing as I'm losing a bunch of turns out here lemme get territory. Bad Idea... I ended up capturing it and the next turn the Crusade ended in victory. However, maintaining Tbilisi was Hell on Earth seeing as I was pinned between Russia, Hungary and Mongols.
After a few turn of pressure and when my treasury was running low I decided to Disband every unit there and return home alone with the king and prince. The King died along the way.
Back in Europe I was hard at work capturing French soil. The only problem was France was allied with England and the Pope was French... I was in deep trouble there. The english don't want anything to do with me. I managed an alliance with Denmark and made them attack France which got a little pressure off me. When I finally managed to obliterate France, the papal states had already excommunicated me. And now they were calling a crusade on me... on MY Toulouse... The horror of it all!
Right now i'm thinking of quiting since i already beat all the objectives a long time ago, even before obliterating France. My treasry is running at a whooping -8000 I already captured Fortaleza hehe and half of France now belongs to Papal States. The crusade on Toulouse was a failure LOL I know how to keep some of my assets heh.
Right now i'll move on to other campaigns I think.
#10icky001Posted 4/28/2008 11:12:29 AM
i dont know why people think portugal have a poor starting position, the have the oppertunity to expand into africa and europe without disturbing spain, until u need to move them that is, Portugal best feature is that in turns 1-5 if your quick you can kick the moors out of iberia and have the spanish on there knees, its al about timing your attacks with portugal, if you go too slow you emenies will wear you down and destory you, if you go too fast you could enc up fighting wars on many differant theaters which will drain you economy and you military might. as for profetional armies, that doesnt matter too much to be honest, it depends on your skills as a commander more than the fighting prowess of your men