Colonial Portuguese – who made this list???

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pippohispano
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Colonial Portuguese – who made this list???

Post by pippohispano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:59 pm

The first words that came to my mind when I first saw the Colonial Portuguese list were “That’s impossible!!!”. How could have someone made such a list? What sources were used? Or did they used any sources at all? Did they even bothered to investigate?
Obviously, they did not.

Just by looking at the troop classification, I immediately saw that wile some things were correct, most of the classification was just simply wrong.

The first and most striking fault of all is the “averageness” of the troops.
Let’s be honest: this list must accurately reflect groups of men used to strike hard, fight hard and win against all odds, always under a numerical inferiority of 1:5; 1:10; 1:20, sometimes even more. There are numberless accounts on that. No ordinary men would fight in these conditions, time and time again. Therefore, to classify these troops as Average is to actually downgrade them and to go against History.

The second fault in the list is the absence of the “swordsmen” classification. Again, that goes against historical facts. The Portuguese not only were good swordsmen but they also tended to close in and endure close-combat. Wile they are accurately given the “Impact Foot” characteristic, at least until 1626 (I don’t get this particular date), they’re not given the necessary “swordsmen” classification that would give’em the endurance they often showed. The list ignores these facts.
On the other hand, it gives “swordsmen” classification to the Portuguese slaves, as if they had hand to hand fighting abilities unknown to the Portuguese!
As a matter of fact, these (mostly Black) slaves were very hardy, usually under the effects of alchool, but they should be classified as Impact Foot, as stated by the Dutch after their failure to storm Macau:
“Many Portuguese slaves, Blacks and others, after gotten drunk, charged our musketeers so furiously that it was a sight to be seen.“

Another and most incredible thing, is that (as it seems!), until 1525 the Portuguese only had crossbows!!! Amazing! Does the author of this list ignores that, even in the late 15th century, the Portuguese already used handguns (at it already appears in the FOG:AM list!)? So, unless Portugal suffered a technological reversion, this Renascence list - just by using another Portuguese army list for comparison – is wrong.
However, by 1500, the Portuguese had long passed the handgun scene. By that time, they were already using espingardas (arquebuses) with the schnapp-lunte lock, and from 1510 onwards, with the conquest of Goa, its arsenal and its weapon smiths, the Portuguese further increased the use of arquebuses.
The crossbow maintained its existence for a few decades more but, by 1511, the Armada under Afonso de Albuquerque that took Malacca already had an even number of crossbowmen and espingardeiros (arquebusiers). So much for the crossbow!
As for another absurdity, the author of this list puts the introduction of the musket into Portuguese hands only in 1626. This ignores the fact that early in 1608 the galleon Bom Jesus, captured by the Dutch, already had muskets aboard, and that the fortress of Mozambique also had muskets in its inventory (MURTEIRA, André Alexandre Martins. “A Carreira da Índia e o Corso Neerlandês 1595-1625”, Lisbon, 2006).

Another striking feature is the name of the troops.
Civilizados in the 16th and 17th centuries??? That word would be correct in the 19th and 20th centuries, but not in such an early date! If the author actually refers to natives with a certain extent of Portuguese culture, he should use the word topazes instead. According to the Glossário Luso-Asiático, Topaz is a mestiço (half-bread) who spoke and dressed like a Portuguese, was a Catholic and often served as a soldier. It also meant the indigenous Christian who spoke Portuguese.
Then, according to the author, from 1626 to 1650 the Portuguese replaced their soldados and topazes with degredados, i.e., convicts! Stunning! One may wonder where all the others go... And were there no other men available in Portugal to fight in Asia an elsewhere? Yes there were. So, perhaps the author of the list should read C.R. Boxer more carefully.
That convicts and vagabonds were shipped out to India and the East, there are no doubts about it. Actually, there were always convicts present in the Portuguese Expansionand even in the Reconquest against the Moors. They were called homiziados and were sent to the most troublesome places. But to say that from 1626 (why this date, by the way?) the Portuguese troops were all made of convicts (namely in Brazil!) is simply absurd.
Can the author tell us what was the proportion of convicts in the Portuguese companies? 20%? 50%? More?
And were there any penal companies that we should know of? To my knowledge, there were none.
In fact, most of the troops were made of free men, just as free as any other in Europe, send there as levy or looking after fortune. There were convicts, too many for many people’s taste, but they were never the majority, unless the place was a disease-infested dump such as parts of Angola, for instance.

Organized infantry units first appeared in Brazil in 1625 with the Terço da Baía, raised by D. Fradique de Toledo Osório. A Neapolitan Tercio was shipped to Brazil in 1636 and fought against the Dutch until the latter’s surrender.
In Goa, the first organised infantry formation was raised in 1671.
Obviously, these terços or regiments were not made of convicts, but the list seems to ignore that.

Regarding the artillery, to my knowledge, the proportion was much, much higher than that showed in the list. In Ethiopia, D. Cristovão da Gama had 400 men, 2 medium guns, 6 light guns and 11 makeshift organ guns (each one made of 10 arquebuses put together in a cart). In 1504 Duarte Pacheco Pereira defended Cochim against the troops of Calecut by using a line of fortified “islets” manned by 70 men and 9 guns. And there are many more examples of a high proportion of artillery (and fortified positions, by the way!).

One other absurdity is the ally list. Does the guy who made this list ignore that in Ceylon the Portuguese used allied troops, sometimes to an extent that, in a Portuguese army, only one in forty was actually a Portuguese? So, how can it be affirmed that the Hindu (and therefore, Sinhalese) list can only be used “in India”???

And since we’re talking about allies, please revise a few things in the Ethiopian list. First of all, the Portuguese were not mercenaries. That’s just ridiculous. They were not Hessians not “contractors”. The expedition sent under D. Cristovão da Gama was all made of volunteers, ordinary soldiers that were not under the Abyssinian King’s payroll.
Moreover (and that reverts, once again, to the Portuguese troop classification), if the 400 Portuguese sent to help the Ethiopians were just “Average, Arquebus, Impact Foot” soldiers, one wonders how did they stormed a fortress manned by 1500 men, engaged in hand to hand fight, killed everybody inside and suffered only 8 dead and 50 wounded. “Average” soldiers do that? To the best of my knowledge, they do not, not even against “Poor” rated soldiers.

In order to show what is right and what is wrong in this list, I will show a few examples, all taken from Ribeiro, João. “Fatalidade História da Ilha de Ceilão”; Lisboa: Alfa - Biblioteca da Expansão Portuguesa nº 3, 1989:

In 04 January 1644, D. António Mascarenhas, leading two groups of 300 and 200 men each, faced 7 Dutch esquadrões (generic term for battle formations), each one made of 600 men, “all in one line and separated from each other 30 paces, but because of the woods only two of these [esquadrões] could be seen by our men. D. António Mascarenhas and the captain-major António da Mota Galvão decided to strike the two esquadrões in their front; their were marching toward us in square formation, and after the first volley fired at them, also receiving theirs, they were attacked by our men, sword in hand, and of these two esquadrões, most of the men were gorged [degolados, in the original]; however, [because] our people did not took precautions, they were hit in their flanks by the five esquadrões who, at a fast pace, charged our men who were disorganised, running after and killing those who had escaped from the first two esquadrões; and thus they found us spread all over, incapable of facing them in any way so that the enemy, with a few volleys, took care of us in a way that those who were spared by the bullet were saved by their feet.”
(Ribeiro, book II, chapter XIV)

“And there was no time we wanted him to flee to the mountains that we couldn’t force him to, storming Kandy and putting his city and palace ablaze and then leaving his kingdom and returning home at a fast pace. Therefore, neither could he prevent us from attacking nor could he stop us from turning home at will. So, one can see that, with us, he live unquiet wile whit the Dutch he suffers nothing as they are not such a people that fearlessly enters the woods, crossing rivers and swaps barefoot, covered in bleaches, wile we didn’t even noticed these things.” (Ribeiro, book III, chapter X)

João Botado de Seixas, with 40 soldiers, “all of them honoured men who volunteered to accompany him”, along with 1500 Sinhalese lanscarins, faced 18000 Sinhalese from Kandy. This hardly fought battle lasted for about two hours and was all fought with “spear and sword”. The Portuguese lost 19 men and 132 lanscarins, their enemies lost 600 men and their leader. (Ribeiro, book II, chapter XVII)

In late March 1655, the King of Kandy, with an army made of 3000 musketeers, 9000 arquebusiers, 13000 bowmen, 15000 spearmen and 50 Dutch mounted arquebusiers, invadeds Portuguese held lands.
Under Gaspar Figueira [de Serpa, a Portuguese-Sinhalese half-bread] were 240 Portuguese, 37 half bread or converted topazes and 4000 Sinhalese lanscarins. Not only the Portuguese didn’t fled but they actually attacked the enemy.
“At a short distance he [Gaspar Figueira] saw the valley filled with countless enemies and, without stop, he ordered a charge so to embolden our men and, despising the enemy, he was the first to joint the fight against such an amazing multitude of men. (…) musket and arquebus bullets were being fired from every side like a hail of fire, while the arrows shot by that huge mob seemed like clouds. All that would be horror and confusion, were not for the fact that that was a nation such as ours, used to that sort of ordeal, so that they broke through them with repeated charges, and Figueira, sword in hand before everyone else, was like a lightning, striking so hard that Death befell upon every of his victims. This battle lasted little more than an hour and the enemy, unable to stand ground, lost his nerve, every men fleeing and taking refuge everywhere he could (…). Our lanscarins shopped off 11000 heads and took 1600 prisoners, 700 muskets and countless arquebuses.” (Ribeiro, book II, chapter XX)

17 october 1655, Gaspar Figueira with 900 soldiers was given orders to attack the Dutch as soon as they came in sight. In Moroto beach, near Columbo, the Portuguese fought against 6400 Dutch and their Sinhalese auxiliaries.
“Fighting with spears [Ajustados às lançadas], this hardly fought battle lasted for about one and a half hour, neither side gaining advantage over the other, although the Dutch wrecked great destruction in our ranks by using four guns, and because our numbers weren’t enough to secure the entire length of that beach, the enemy surrounded our right flank with a strong esquadrão (singular for esquadrões, i.e., battle formation) so that we came under crossfire, thus forcing us to show’em our backs “(Ribeiro, book II, chapter XXII)


By reading these accounts, and many others, one can clearly see that the Portuguese were used to fight against overwhelming numbers and often won. That clearly puts the “Average” classification at stake.
Along with it, these descriptions clearly show that the Portuguese were used to strike fast and hard (therefore, Impact Foot), but they also endured long lasting hand to hand fights, therefore they also must be classified as Swordsmen.
These characteristics should no be limited to such an early date as 1626 (?) since, as stated above, even in the 1650’s, the same methods of fight were in use.

Along with these thoughts, one must simply take care to look at numbers. With this sort of army, the Colonial Portuguese will equal, if not surpass, in sheer numbers, most of its foes. That’s simply absurd when – History makes no secret about it! – reality was quite the opposite.

Therefore, the Colonial Portuguese list suffers from poor classification standards.

The troops should be classified as follows:
Until 1515: Warriors; Unarmoured; up to ½ Superior/ remaining Average; up to ½ Arquebus / remaining Crossbow; Impact Foot; Swordsmen
From 1516 to 1550: Warriors; Unarmoured; up to ½ Superior/ remaining Average; Arquebus or Crossbow; Impact Foot; Swordsmen
From 1551: Warriors; Unarmoured; up to ½ Superior/ remaining Average; Arquebus; Impact Foot; Swordsmen
From 1600 (a more plausible date than 1626!): Warriors; Unarmoured; up to ½ Superior/ remaining Average; up to ½ Musket / remaining Arquebus; Impact Foot; Swordsmen
Casados: Warriors; Unarmoured; Average; Arquebus; Swordsmen
Topazes: Warriors; Unarmoured; Average; Arquebus
Slaves: Warriors; Unarmoured; Average; Impact Foot

The light infantry should follow this scheme.

As for the artillery, they should have 2 more light artillery bases.

They also should be given some 8 bases of fortifications.

When making a Portuguese Colonial army list (or any other, as a matter of fact), one must cling to historical facts. These come from sources and investigation. By looking at this list, I cannot but say that those were never taken into account.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:35 pm

Feel free to blame me. I have to confess that the list was based on fairly limited sources (I can't even recall what they were I'm afraid :cry: ) in rather a short time due to deadline pressure.
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Post by hazelbark » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:33 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:Feel free to blame me. I have to confess that the list was based on fairly limited sources (I can't even recall what they were I'm afraid :cry: ) in rather a short time due to deadline pressure.
So Nik all that time you spent in Lisbon, you weren't doing research? What were you doing hanging out in a bar?

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Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:46 pm

hazelbark wrote:
nikgaukroger wrote:Feel free to blame me. I have to confess that the list was based on fairly limited sources (I can't even recall what they were I'm afraid :cry: ) in rather a short time due to deadline pressure.
So Nik all that time you spent in Lisbon, you weren't doing research? What were you doing hanging out in a bar?

Researching how late Portuguese bars stay open ... :D

Did do some other research - look here https://picasaweb.google.com/nikgaukroger/ITC2010# just skip past the pictures of fat blokes with toy soldiers.
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Post by Delbruck » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:47 pm

Giving soldiers impact, melee, AND shooting ability seems to go against the grain of the FoG philosophy. The idea being that troops could not be skilled at everything. The best you get in FoGAM is bow*, lance (or impact foot), sword.

Personally, I think Europeans had a huge pyschological adavantage over natives because of the technological superiority. I doubt this is really address by such a broad set of rules (especially a set of rules often used for out of period tournament play). It will be interesting to see how Cortez's army stacks up against the Aztecs.

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Post by pippohispano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:03 pm

That's OK, Nick, but you really have to rewrite that list. To be gentle, this list is a bit crappy... :(

I suggest you to make a PDF file with correct information and publish it as an official list. As always, be free to count on me for investigation, sources, etc.

BTW, along with the above stated considerations, one must also take into account that in the Portuguese Armada that sailed to Brazil in 1625 to retaque the city of Bahia from the Dutch, there were 2710 muskets and arquebuses and 1355 pikes and “half-pikes”, which gives a proportion of 2 gusn per pike (clearly a LT proportion!).
The Portuguese who landed near Bahia (and besieged the city) were formed in a 1500 strong Terço.

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Post by pippohispano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:07 pm

Delbruck wrote:Giving soldiers impact, melee, AND shooting ability seems to go against the grain of the FoG philosophy. The idea being that troops could not be skilled at everything. The best you get in FoGAM is bow*, lance (or impact foot), sword.
The problem is that they were THAT good! And also, by giving them all those charachteristcs, they will be expensive and thus of limited numbers.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:26 pm

pippohispano wrote: I suggest you to make a PDF file with correct information and publish it as an official list. As always, be free to count on me for investigation, sources, etc.

Not my call to make - you would need to approach Slitherine about that.


BTW one thing you wrote above puzzled me:
And since we’re talking about allies, please revise a few things in the Ethiopian list. First of all, the Portuguese were not mercenaries.

I don't believe the list includes any troops described as Portuguese mercenaries :?
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Post by pippohispano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:44 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
pippohispano wrote: I suggest you to make a PDF file with correct information and publish it as an official list. As always, be free to count on me for investigation, sources, etc.

Not my call to make - you would need to approach Slitherine about that.

Why isn't that your call? It's your work, you should fix it...

No matter what, the list must be rewriten, now that we've seen that it is inaccurate. If you need ME to contact Slitherine about it, well, so be it. But perhaps they should read this Forum once in a wile...

BTW one thing you wrote above puzzled me:
And since we’re talking about allies, please revise a few things in the Ethiopian list. First of all, the Portuguese were not mercenaries.

I don't believe the list includes any troops described as Portuguese mercenaries :?
My bad! You're right, I've looked at the Settled Arabs... :oops:

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Post by hazelbark » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:48 pm

pippohispano wrote: Why isn't that your call? It's your work, you should fix it...

No matter what, the list must be rewriten, now that we've seen that it is inaccurate. If you need ME to contact Slitherine about it, well, so be it. But perhaps they should read this Forum once in a wile...
I think what Nik means is while he does things for Slitherine, he is not a decision maker.

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Post by robertthebruce » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:57 pm

Filipe don´t be bad wiht Nick, he is not guility of the Portuguese beer is better than English resources on the Portuguese army :)

You must understand that is not easy to find information about this kind of armies in this period in English. I had to learn some portuguese to work in the Aviz army list, and finally we need your help.

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Post by VMadeira » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:11 pm

The other day I saw a FOG R game between Colonial Portuguese (with an Indian ally) vs Ottoman Turk, a semi-historical match (well almost at least....)

The first thing that immediately strikes a wrong feeling, was that the Portuguese were more numerous, it is like seeing a tabletop battle, were Greeks outnumber Persians!

I then kept to my own game, but the feeling of the players was that, it really lacks the historical coherence that Filipe has pointed out.

I would add also:

- Spanish allies in Brasil, campaign of 1625
- Naval units – Any assault on a coastal city, or lifting of a siege would involve naval means, Naval support (together with easier logistics) was one of the reasons Portuguese usually kept to the coastal areas, when conquering overseas territory.
- Option to downgrade units to poor for the whole period, as it is true that the quality of the troops could be very variable, although a good picture would be tough desperados, with little means/equipment, underpaid (many hoping to get rich) who are thousands of miles from home or the nearest support and have to fight like hell, no matter the odds, or die.
- I believe the correct classification should be Warrior, Xbow*/Arquebus*/musket*, impact foot, swordmen, this would represent their good performance in close fighting, charging after the first volley, with a reduced firepower. Salvo, swordsmen could also represent this behaviour, but I am not sure if it would bring other problems.

For last I would point two references (in English):

- The last crusaders – Barnaby Rogerson: although more focused on the Mediterranean, it has a few good insights on the Portuguese conquests overseas.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristov%C3%A3o_da_Gama: link to the Wikipedia article about Cristovão da Gama, follow the links about the battles he fought in Ethiopia, yes I know Wikipedia is not the most scholarly bibliography but it can be a good starting point

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Post by pippohispano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:05 pm

robertthebruce wrote:Filipe don´t be bad wiht Nick, he is not guility of the Portuguese beer is better than English resources on the Portuguese army :)

You must understand that is not easy to find information about this kind of armies in this period in English. I had to learn some portuguese to work in the Aviz army list, and finally we need your help.
I know that the fist ones I should blame on should be the Portuguese! There's simply a lack of translated works regarding the Colonial Portuguese subject (and archaeology, etc.), and that's not the English fault, is the Portuguese.

However, you have C R Boxer, and I know that at least Castanhoso's work on the expedition to Ethiopia is translated into English. Perhaps there're more translated works.
And anyway, Jorge P. Freitas, who participated in DBR's Portuguese lists conception, should have been contacted by you.

Nevertheless, what we must bear in mind is this:

1 - the list is, to say the least, faulty;
2 - we can correct it;
3 - the consequences of not having a corrected list, when you have the chance to do it, is a loss of credibility (if this is one is wrong, I know about it and you don't fix it, how wonder how many more lists should be corrected and none cares;
4 - you are the ones who may most easily contact Slitherine and explain the need to have a corrected list, even if in just as a loose list in PDF format;
5 - you are not alone, you can count on me and some other guys as well!

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Post by pippohispano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:07 pm

hazelbark wrote:
pippohispano wrote: Why isn't that your call? It's your work, you should fix it...

No matter what, the list must be rewriten, now that we've seen that it is inaccurate. If you need ME to contact Slitherine about it, well, so be it. But perhaps they should read this Forum once in a wile...
I think what Nik means is while he does things for Slitherine, he is not a decision maker.
But perhaps he can convince Slitherine better than I can... :)

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Post by pippohispano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:31 pm

VMadeira wrote:The other day I saw a FOG R game between Colonial Portuguese (with an Indian ally) vs Ottoman Turk, a semi-historical match (well almost at least....)

The first thing that immediately strikes a wrong feeling, was that the Portuguese were more numerous, it is like seeing a tabletop battle, were Greeks outnumber Persians!

You are right.
VMadeira wrote:- Option to downgrade units to poor for the whole period, as it is true that the quality of the troops could be very variable,
I wouldn’t bet on that. Facts speak otherwise.
VMadeira wrote:although a good picture would be tough desperados, with little means/equipment,
Perhaps you mean “money”, not weapons! :D
VMadeira wrote:underpaid (many hoping to get rich) who are thousands of miles from home or the nearest support and have to fight like hell, no matter the odds, or die.
Yes, that would come close to the truth: a bunch of men, confident, sometimes overconfident, fighting for their lives against superior numbers.
VMadeira wrote:- I believe the correct classification should be Warrior, Xbow*/Arquebus*/musket*, impact foot, swordsmen, this would represent their good performance in close fighting, charging after the first volley, with a reduced firepower. Salvo, swordsmen could also represent this behaviour, but I am not sure if it would bring other problems.
I’m not quite sure if Arquebus*/Musket* would be correct, as the * implies a poor record when using these weapons. As you know, that was not the case.

One more thing I forgot that could add some interest to the list, wile staying realistic at the same time, would be to have one, maximum two BG classified as Warrior, Armoured, Impact Foot, Swordsmen. These would correspond to close assault troops wearing corselets and brigandines, best suited for hand to hand combat. These BG could be used until, say, 1515.

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Post by robertthebruce » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:40 pm

pippohispano wrote:
robertthebruce wrote:Filipe don´t be bad wiht Nick, he is not guility of the Portuguese beer is better than English resources on the Portuguese army :)

You must understand that is not easy to find information about this kind of armies in this period in English. I had to learn some portuguese to work in the Aviz army list, and finally we need your help.
I know that the fist ones I should blame on should be the Portuguese! There's simply a lack of translated works regarding the Colonial Portuguese subject (and archaeology, etc.), and that's not the English fault, is the Portuguese.

However, you have C R Boxer, and I know that at least Castanhoso's work on the expedition to Ethiopia is translated into English. Perhaps there're more translated works.
And anyway, Jorge P. Freitas, who participated in DBR's Portuguese lists conception, should have been contacted by you.

Nevertheless, what we must bear in mind is this:

1 - the list is, to say the least, faulty;
2 - we can correct it;
3 - the consequences of not having a corrected list, when you have the chance to do it, is a loss of credibility (if this is one is wrong, I know about it and you don't fix it, how wonder how many more lists should be corrected and none cares;
4 - you are the ones who may most easily contact Slitherine and explain the need to have a corrected list, even if in just as a loose list in PDF format;
5 - you are not alone, you can count on me and some other guys as well!

I contacted Jorge Freitas when I started to work in the Portuguese list (Later Restoration and Aviz). I should say that I get a lot of information from him and his blog. He is a great guy and he knows the period very well. A lot of thanks for him.


I took no part in the development of colonies and conquest, I was very busy these days, now I think that I should do it because maybe I could helped to Nick and Richard. They have done a lot of list, and it is logical that some might not be quite right, too much work to do.


Is not just throw them all in my face now, because in the overall they have done an excellent job.

Now I think that Nick are planning to review some FOGAM list for the version 2.0, I do not think it will be very hard to also review this list, although I'm not sure how could be published.



If finally the list is reviewed, Nick and Richard knows that I´m available to work again, the same for the new FOGAM list,s although local support is always a good support.

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Post by pippohispano » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:14 pm

robertthebruce wrote:
pippohispano wrote:
robertthebruce wrote:Filipe don´t be bad wiht Nick, he is not guility of the Portuguese beer is better than English resources on the Portuguese army :)

You must understand that is not easy to find information about this kind of armies in this period in English. I had to learn some portuguese to work in the Aviz army list, and finally we need your help.
I know that the fist ones I should blame on should be the Portuguese! There's simply a lack of translated works regarding the Colonial Portuguese subject (and archaeology, etc.), and that's not the English fault, is the Portuguese.

However, you have C R Boxer, and I know that at least Castanhoso's work on the expedition to Ethiopia is translated into English. Perhaps there're more translated works.
And anyway, Jorge P. Freitas, who participated in DBR's Portuguese lists conception, should have been contacted by you.

Nevertheless, what we must bear in mind is this:

1 - the list is, to say the least, faulty;
2 - we can correct it;
3 - the consequences of not having a corrected list, when you have the chance to do it, is a loss of credibility (if this is one is wrong, I know about it and you don't fix it, how wonder how many more lists should be corrected and none cares;
4 - you are the ones who may most easily contact Slitherine and explain the need to have a corrected list, even if in just as a loose list in PDF format;
5 - you are not alone, you can count on me and some other guys as well!

I contacted Jorge Freitas when I started to work in the Portuguese list (Later Restoration and Aviz). I should say that I get a lot of information from him and his blog. He is a great guy and he knows the period very well. A lot of thanks for him.
You should take a wile to read his books. They’re masterpieces!

robertthebruce wrote:I took no part in the development of colonies and conquest, I was very busy these days, now I think that I should do it because maybe I could helped to Nick and Richard. They have done a lot of list, and it is logical that some might not be quite right, too much work to do.

Is not just throw them all in my face now, because in the overall they have done an excellent job.
No doubts about it. But when things fail, one must correct it. Nick had a very humble standing regarding this problem, which means that he’s just the right guy to get a good job done. :D
robertthebruce wrote:Now I think that Nick are planning to review some FOGAM list for the version 2.0, I do not think it will be very hard to also review this list, although I'm not sure how could be published.
Is the PDF proposal such a bad option? :?
robertthebruce wrote:If finally the list is reviewed, Nick and Richard knows that I´m available to work again, the same for the new FOGAM list,s although local support is always a good support.
Once more, please don’t hesitate to ask for help. I’ll do my best to help you get a well done list, and as you can see, there are more people willing to give you a hand.

waldo
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Post by waldo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:35 am

VMadeira wrote:The other day I saw a FOG R game between Colonial Portuguese (with an Indian ally) vs Ottoman Turk, a semi-historical match (well almost at least....)

The first thing that immediately strikes a wrong feeling, was that the Portuguese were more numerous, it is like seeing a tabletop battle, were Greeks outnumber Persians!

I then kept to my own game, but the feeling of the players was that, it really lacks the historical coherence that Filipe has pointed out.

I would add also:

- Spanish allies in Brasil, campaign of 1625
- Naval units – Any assault on a coastal city, or lifting of a siege would involve naval means, Naval support (together with easier logistics) was one of the reasons Portuguese usually kept to the coastal areas, when conquering overseas territory.
- Option to downgrade units to poor for the whole period, as it is true that the quality of the troops could be very variable, although a good picture would be tough desperados, with little means/equipment, underpaid (many hoping to get rich) who are thousands of miles from home or the nearest support and have to fight like hell, no matter the odds, or die.
- I believe the correct classification should be Warrior, Xbow*/Arquebus*/musket*, impact foot, swordmen, this would represent their good performance in close fighting, charging after the first volley, with a reduced firepower. Salvo, swordsmen could also represent this behaviour, but I am not sure if it would bring other problems.

For last I would point two references (in English):

- The last crusaders – Barnaby Rogerson: although more focused on the Mediterranean, it has a few good insights on the Portuguese conquests overseas.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristov%C3%A3o_da_Gama: link to the Wikipedia article about Cristovão da Gama, follow the links about the battles he fought in Ethiopia, yes I know Wikipedia is not the most scholarly bibliography but it can be a good starting point

I agree with the comment about numbers. Because of a lack of cavalry these colonial armies tend to be on the large side. I think that average is an exaggeration of the capabilities of the usual opponents of the colonial powers. Surely most should be poor, judging from their repeated defeats against vastly smaller colonial armies? It would have no net effect in regards to any intra-region conflicts but would make them larger and less effective against their colonial opponents.

If the colonial troops were downgraded to poor and their opponents were left average then the Asian armies would be smaller than their European opponents!

Walter

waldo
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Re: Colonial Portuguese – who made this list???

Post by waldo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:41 am

pippohispano wrote: Therefore, the Colonial Portuguese list suffers from poor classification standards.

The troops should be classified as follows:
Until 1515: Warriors; Unarmoured; up to ½ Superior/ remaining Average; up to ½ Arquebus / remaining Crossbow; Impact Foot; Swordsmen
From 1516 to 1550: Warriors; Unarmoured; up to ½ Superior/ remaining Average; Arquebus or Crossbow; Impact Foot; Swordsmen
From 1551: Warriors; Unarmoured; up to ½ Superior/ remaining Average; Arquebus; Impact Foot; Swordsmen
From 1600 (a more plausible date than 1626!): Warriors; Unarmoured; up to ½ Superior/ remaining Average; up to ½ Musket / remaining Arquebus; Impact Foot; Swordsmen
Casados: Warriors; Unarmoured; Average; Arquebus; Swordsmen
Topazes: Warriors; Unarmoured; Average; Arquebus
Slaves: Warriors; Unarmoured; Average; Impact Foot

The light infantry should follow this scheme.

As for the artillery, they should have 2 more light artillery bases.

They also should be given some 8 bases of fortifications.
To be fair to the list writer(s) it is a very tough job to balance the Colonial armies when they may play anachronistic opponents (and probably will most of the time).

Yes the colonial troops may have defeated the massed hordes of the 'barbarians' but giving them superior would result in them being considered the equal of the best of the line troops in Europe. Is this really the case? Why weren't the Portuguese in high demand as mercenaries in Europe that being true?

Having said that, impact foot with no swords would mean that they have a hard time against historical opponents with swords eg Indonesians.

Walter

nikgaukroger
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Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:11 am

pippohispano wrote:
hazelbark wrote:
pippohispano wrote: Why isn't that your call? It's your work, you should fix it...

No matter what, the list must be rewriten, now that we've seen that it is inaccurate. If you need ME to contact Slitherine about it, well, so be it. But perhaps they should read this Forum once in a wile...
I think what Nik means is while he does things for Slitherine, he is not a decision maker.
But perhaps he can convince Slitherine better than I can... :)

Odd as it may seem the opposite is more likely - I'd encourage you to give it a try.
Nik Gaukroger

"Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does, he will tell you.
If he does not, why humiliate him?" - Canon Sydney Smith

nikgaukroger@blueyonder.co.uk

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