Portuguese Tercos S2TW Icon
Portuguese Tercos
Portuguese Tercos S2TW
Appears in Total War: Shogun 2
Belongs to Otomo Clan
Type Matchlock Infantry
Ammunition 15
Soldiers in each unit 30/60/90/120
Attack skill 12
Charge bonus 15
Anti-Cavalry Skill 0
Armour 8
Defense skill 2
Range 100
Precision 65
Loading speed 35
Morale 10
Produced from Nanban Quarter
Special abilities
Cost 850 SP/850 MP
Upkeep 150
Turns to Train 2
Unit Cap None

Portuguese Tercos are a type of matchlock infantry in Total War: Shogun 2.


Armed with matchlocks and swords and armoured in European style, these Portuguese soldiers are dangerous foes.

These troops are easily recognisable on any Japanese battlefield thanks to their European armour. They wear iron breastplates and morions: helmets often seen as being of a “Spanish” style. They are well trained with their matchlock muskets and can lay a withering fire upon their enemies. In melee, they can give a reasonable account of themselves if attacked. It is, however, a foolish and wasteful commander who throws them into close combat as assault troops against samurai.

The Portuguese “terco” was a direct copy of the Spanish “tercio”, a powerful battle formation divided into “thirds” armed with, respectively, matchlocks, pikes and swords. Within each tercio, these troops acted to support each other and shield weaknesses, making them battle-winning units in Spain’s many wars. Spanish tercios dominated European battlefields for many years in the 16th Century. Other powers, as is always the case with military fashions, rushed to copy the style of winners. The Portuguese were no different, and their tercos included the romantically named “Terco of Adventurers” recruited from among the sons of the nobility and gentry. It is not unreasonable to assume that these well-regarded soldiers, and particularly matchlock gunners, would have been sent out, if requested, to aid Portuguese allies.

Strengths & Weaknesses

  • Good range but shorter than bow units.
  • Devastating damage.
  • Good accuracy, reload rate and morale.
  • Good in melee.
  • Vulnerable to cavalry.

General InformationEdit

Unique to the Otomo Clan, Portuguese Tercos are similar to Matchlock Samurai, but with much better accuracy and reloading skill that are akin to the hero-tier Tokitaka’s Tanegashima. They also have better melee stats and far better armor, allowing them to fight far better in melee than other matchlock units. While they have fewer men per regiment than melee samurai, they compensate for this in most situations due to their initial volley of gunfire thinning out enemy numbers. Despite their superiority, Portuguese Tercos are also far easier to recruit than Matchlock Samurai, requiring only a Nanban Quarter (which can be obtained with no technological requirements), and a powder maker, a relatively low-tier siege building. In contrast, Matchlock Samurai require the late-game gunsmith building. 

Portuguese Tercos are the best matchlock infantry by a considerable margin, easily defeating the likes of other matchlock samurai or Matchlock Warrior Monks. Their armor makes them highly resistant to enemy arrow fire: they can simply march up to within firing range of Bow Ashigaru while barely sustaining any casualties, though more accurate archers may still pose some threat. They are best countered by using melee-oriented infantry, or with cavalry charging. In both cases it is best to attack the Tercos on either hilly or forested terrain, ideally in rainy weather, and from the flanks and rear to reduce the lethality of their guns.

Despite being foreign in origin, the game categorizes Portuguese Tercos as being "samurai". This means that they benefit from all tiers of the smithing line of buildings.


Portuguese Tercos speak English in-game.

Total War: Shogun 2 Infantry
Sword Infantry Katana Dojo SamuraiKatana HeroKatana RoninKatana SamuraiKatana WakoLoan Sword AshigaruMori Wako RaidersNo-Dachi SamuraiSamurai RetainersSeigen’s Swordmasters
Spear Infantry Date Bulletproof SamuraiOda Long Yari AshigaruYari AshigaruYari Ashigaru GarrisonYari Dojo SamuraiYari HeroYari RoninYari Samurai
Heavy Infantry Benkei’s BladesGozen’s Hime HeroinesMarathon MonksNaginata SamuraiNaginata Warrior Monk HeroNaginata Warrior MonksNaginata Warrior Monks GarrisonOnna BushiTadakatsu’s Tetsubo WarriorsWarrior Nuns
Bow Infantry Bow AshigaruBow Ashigaru GarrisonBow Dojo SamuraiBow HeroBow RoninBow SamuraiBow WakoBow Warrior MonksChosokabe Daikyu SamuraiHattori Bandits
Matchlock Infantry Imported Matchlock AshigaruMatchlock AshigaruMatchlock SamuraiMatchlock Warrior MonksPortuguese TercosShimazu Heavy GunnersTokitaka’s Tanegashima
Special Infantry Dojo Fire Bomb ThrowersFire Bomb ThrowersHanzo’s ShadowsKisho Ninja

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