Present Day Edit
Portugal starts in a very safe position during the Present Day bookmark. You're country is in the European Union and only borders one country who is a historical friend, Spain. Allying Spain isn't a bad idea since they will provide extra protection, but they can call you into wars with Morocco and Algiers. If you fabricate on Morocco's provinces of Tanja, Gharb, and Dukkala, there is a decent chance Spain will give you those provinces (or any other province you have a claim on) if you participate in the North African wars.
Now, since there is nothing left to colonize in the Present Day, how can Portugal expand. Will Portugal be a sad state? The answer is absolutely no. The reasons? The Nationalism and Imperialism CBs are your keys to expansion. Before we get into this strategy, make sure to always use the Nationalism CB against countries that are within the same culture group (Portuguese, Castilian, Brazilian, Mexican, etc) as Portugal since less aggressive expansion will be produced. And since there is nothing left to colonize, get rid of exploration and expansion ideas, also get rid of religious ideas, early religious ideas, early offensive ideas, early trade ideas, early administrative ideas. Repeal only three admin ideas ideas at once, otherwise you will max out and lose extra admin points. This is when you switch over to a Socialist Republic, due to it allowing you to gain the Imperialism CB and the +20% National Manpower Modifier, -20% Regiment Cost, but -10 Maximum Absolutism. It gives the Spread Communism CB, but that CB is much weaker and does less for expanding compared to the Nationalism or Imperialism CBs. Once you are a Socialist Republic, repeal the last Admin idea that you have and then you should have 990 Admin points when including the two other free slots at the start of the Present Day, your new idea groups should be:
From the beginning of the game, have a diplomat improving relations with countries such as France, Italy, and / or Great Britain. Now because you are a Socialist Republic, you can enact State Atheism which provides excellent bonuses for a country like Portugal (+10% National Manpower Modifier, +10% Force Limit Modifier) with the only real negative being +10% Stability Cost Modifier since the -3 Tolerance of Heathens has no effect due to being Secular. Recruiting a Master Recruiter before starting any wars will help regenerate your manpower quicker since at the beginning it's almost half way depleted.
The Barbary Wars Edit
There are three countries that will continue to send out pirates to primarily pillage you, Spain, France, Italy, and Greece non-stop. The following pirate nations are: Morocco, Algiers, and Tunisia. This clearly must be stopped, one way or another. Algiers is the only country you can rival at the beginning, so make sure to do that and then embargo them. Since Imperialism is the CB we will be using here, since it's powerful and applies to all countries in the game. Morocco will be the first country to attack, then Algiers, Tunisia, and finally Libya (they usually will take the province of Tunis, which is a center of trade, not to mention that annexing Libya is a very easy task to do. Making use of mercenaries in these Barbary Wars is essential in avoiding losses to your manpower since you will be taking +3 attrition everywhere except for land that isn't desert or arid, where only (although still high) +2 attrition is taken. Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya can be annexed in a single war, meanwhile Algiers require at least two wars to annex. In the first peace treaty with Algiers, strip them entirely of their coastal provinces; this should be put an end to their plundering for good and makes them available to be annexed in another war. Now although Libya isn't a pirate nation, they still are worth annexing due to good resources (cloth and oil), a center of trade, higher income, trade power, manpower, force limit (land and naval), and greater control over the Mediterranean and Africa. The same applies for the other annexed Maghrebi countries, since no colonial nations spawn from North Africa
Neo-Colonialism: Africa Edit
Now the strategy: Cape Verde is easily the first choice when it comes to expansion oversees since they are weak, are of Portuguese culture, have no (or weak) allies, and will serve as an important island naval base; attack them using the Nationalism CB. Launching an attack against former colony Guinea-Bissau should be the next step, and this country too should fall to your military with no problem too.
Now it turns out that Gambia might be the country to attack over Guinea-Bissau for a good reason. There's a good chance that Gambia allies themselves with both Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, which means you can annex all three countries in a single war for little AE, Admin, and Diplo points. So fabricate on Gambia, declare war, and enjoy an easy war and then all of the newly acquired land for your colonial nation(s). At this point annexing more weak West African countries will be no problem, and it will boost your income, trading power, manpower, and control over the region. You will want to annex Guinea (if they didn't ally Gambia), Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, and Benin, and possible Mauritania. If Mauritania is guaranteed by Mali, then you can either declare war on the Mauritanians and fight them in addition to Mali. Note that this can be very costly to your manpower since the Malian military can either match yours in size or be close to matching it in size).
Next on the list is (if you didn't already annex) Sao Tome and Principe; this country should be very easy to annex for literally the exact same reasons Cape Verde was easy to annex: Portuguese culture, weak allies, and a useful island for your military and supply range for ships (and just like Cape Verde, annex all of Sao Tome and Principe's allies in the war). Next, declare war on Equatorial Guinea since not only are they of Castilian culture, but they were also a colony of Portugal for over 300 years before becoming a colony of Spain. Equatorial Guinea is usually allied to Gabon, make sure to fully annex them as well because this will give you a foothold on the Northern Kongo mainland.
If the Portuguese army has been depleted at this point, then either use mercenaries to fight battles or wait until your manpower recovers enough to reinforce and engage in more combat. Your colonial nations and Spain (they will always protect you in defensive wars) also will have armies and ships to support you in wars, they also serve as a deterrent to any hostile nations that would have otherwise attacked you off guard.
Declare war on Congo until you annex all of their allies first, then finally annex the Congo itself. Angola might just be one of the Congo's allies, which is actually great since you won't have to fight any of their strong allies like South Africa and / or The Democratic Republic of Congo.
Begin by bringing enough soldiers to East Africa to declare war on Madagascar. If they are allied with Comoros, annexed that island country as well. This will serve as one of your naval bases towards Asia. Proceed to declare war on Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Comoros, and Maldives. Sri Lanka should be first otherwise India will annex them before you, and if you have high relations with India, they will be less likely to be agitated at the fact that you own the island that is from here on out is called Ceilão (Ceylon in Portuguese). Portugal's former colony of East Timor will be next since they are the only country in Asia to own a province with Portuguese culture. Indochina has some weak countries that will allow you to create trading companies, more merchants, trading power, and trade income; Cambodia would be an excellent place to start due to their weakness, and this will allow you to deploy soldiers on the borders of other Indochinese nations when preparing for war. Myanmar is likely to be allied with Cambodia, so if the Cambodians are their only ally, mark them as a co-belligerent in the war and take all their coastal and rich-inland provinces. Singapore and Brunei will be excellent targets next due to being highly developed OPMs (especially Singapore), and because Brunei produces Oil. If they are only allied to each other (usually due to a trade league), then mark whoever the ally is in the war as a co-belligerent for no penalties. If India hasn't already, declare a war for Bangladesh and fully annex them in a war; just make sure this is after Myanmar lost provinces in the earlier war with Cambodia so they are weakened and can't overwhelm your Bangladeshi front in any future wars.
The Caribbean is one of the easiest places to expand into. Start with Cuba (use Nationalism CB), then move on to other Caribbean nations in any order you want. You should be able to annex the entire Caribbean (except for any islands owned a European nation or the United States, you're fine and better off leaving them alone).
Neo-Colonialism: Central AmericaEdit
Just like the Caribbean, Central America is also very also to annex due to how small, weak, and divided the nations there are, except you get to use your Nationalism CB against literally every country here and in South America (exceptions being Belize, Guyana, and Suriname). It's best to start with Guatemala and Belize to prevent Mexico from expanding into Central America. From that point onward, continue to annex every country in your path, and eventually you will have every Central American nation annexed, and the Panama Canal will be yours!
Neo-Colonialism: South AmericaEdit
Uruguay, Guyana, Suriname, and Ecuador are your easiest targets in South America (that can be reached, since Bolivia and Paraguay are landlocked). If some of these nations get guaranteed by Brazil or Argentina, it's not too big a problem: they usually don't guarantee every single country listed at once. If you're at this point and have a strong Portugal due to following this strategy strictly (or by a mixture of this and your strategy), then you will be able to fight all of the other South American countries without being defeated with the only exception possibly being Brazil.
Form Spanish Nation MilitarilyEdit
- Primary culture is in the Iberian Culture Group or
- Primary culture is Basque
- Is not:
- Spain does not exist
- Has an administrative technology of at least 10.
- Is not in the Muslim religion group.
- Is not a subject nation.
- Is not a nomad nation.
- Is not a colonial nation
- A Muslim nation does not own a province in Iberia
- Owns core provinces: Barcelona (213), Zaragoza (214), Castilla La Vieja (215), Salamanca (216), Sevilla (224), Toledo (219), València (220), Granada (223).
- Country changes to Spain
- (If owned) Madrid becomes the new capital
- Gain a permanent claim on all not owned provinces of Iberia, except the areas of: Alentejo, Beiras, Macaronesia.
- Set government rank to Kingdom, if not higher tier
- If an HRE member and not an elector, leave the empire.
- Gain 25 Prestige
- Gain country modifier Increased Centralization for 20 years:
Portuguese Ideas and Traditions Edit
- +5% Trade Efficiency
- +30% Trade Range
- Legacy of the Navigator: +10% Sailors Modifier & +25% Colonial Range
- Afonsine Ordinance: +10% Global Trade Range
- Found the Casa da India: +10% Manpower Recovery Speed
- Encourage the Bandeirantes: +1 Merchants
- Royal Absolutism: -25% Build Cost
- Land Before Faith: +15 Global Settler Increase
- Open up the Guilds: +10% National Trade Income Modifier
- +20% Global Tariffs