The Spanish are primarily an offensive civilization featuring a strong Imperial Age army and navy. Most of their military bonuses can only be used in late games and are the most powerful after reaching the Imperial Age. Despite their emphasis of gunpowder units like their Turkish counterparts who would make an effective ally, they offer a wide range of technologies and are able to field a varied army.
StrengthsEditThey can research all naval technologies, which makes them formidable in the water. However their biggest naval advantage is that their Cannon Galleons benefit from Ballistics. This allows them to fire much faster and more accurately. In addition to performing their regular duties more efficiently this allows them to effectively engage warships and no longer need to be escorted by Galleons or Fast Fire Ships.
The Spanish unique unit is the Conquistador, a mounted Hand Cannoneer. Like the regular Hand Cannoneer, they have a large attack but are inaccurate. They have the advantage of being mounted which gives them an edge in speed, allowing them to use guerilla tactics. They are somewhat fragile so are best used as support units in formations with Knights or Paladins whose higher hit points can absorb damage that would easily kill a Conquistador.
The Spanish Conquistador is arguably the most powerful unit in the Castle Age, but less dominant in the Imperial Age, as Kamayuks, Halberdiers (Celtic, Gothic, Japanese), Samurai, Berserkers, Genoese crossbowmen, skirmishers (British, Incan, Aztec), Camels (Saracen and Indian ones), Mamelukes,and Huskarls do bonus damage to them. Janissaries, War Wagons ,Longbowmen,Siege Onagers (Celtic, Korean, Mongols) , Eagle warriors and a few other units can also do a decent job against them. They can counter most of these if microed properly.
The Spanish also have the Missionary, which is a mounted monk with greater speed but have lower range and cannot pick up relics. Since Missionaries move much faster than normal monks and a Spanish army will be mostly composed of cavalry, this is a big advantage. The Spanish unique technology, Supremacy, gives villagers a large increase in attack, hit points, and armor. This allows them to go in the front lines and build military buildings to reinforce and support a Spanish army without getting killed as easily. While their Villagers are capable of defending themselves against certain units, they should not be strictly used for combat.
Despite their large number of advantages in the Imperial Age, the Spanish have some drawbacks in the early stages of the game. They have poor foot archers, unable to improve their Archers beyond the Crossbowman upgrade. This puts their infantry units at a disadvantage until heavy cavalry can be trained. Their siege weapons are merely average, missing the Siege Onager and Heavy Scorpion.
The Spanish can be used in several ways, they could use, turtling, rushing and boom strategies but they are mainly considered as a Boom civilization due to the fact that most of their bonuses are castle and imperial age bonuses. Normally a Spanish player should try to go for a Fast Castle, but alternatively they can try to make a feudal age rush by taking advantage of their Builder bonus that allows villagers to build 30% faster and could try to make a scout rush or a tower rush, or otherwise could take the building advantage in order to wall themselves and make a turtling strategy early in the game.
Typically, Spanish should go for a Fast Castle and boom their economy. Once in the Castle age a Spanish player must create some monasteries and one or two castles in first place. Conquistadors as a gunpowder unit are formidable against infantry and missionaries excels in supporting mounted units so a combined force of heavy cavalry, conquistadors and a few missionaries must be the main offensive force, In the Forgotten expansion the new tech Inquisition allows to monks and missionaries to have a better conversion rates so the missionary support is invaluable. Beside the fact that Spanish have infantry units above average their army must consist most prominently of cavalry units, specially heavy cavalry, conquistadors and cavalry archers during the Castle age. The player must not forget the blacksmith Spanish bonus, once in castle age most of the blacksmith improvements normally costs food and gold, with Spanish that is not the case, so the player can research all of these technologies at a bargain price of only food.
Once in the imperial age is when The Spanish really start to shine, Spanish are one of the few civilizations that have full gunpowder improvements, at this point the foot unit of election must be their formidable hand canoneers and for the siege they must go heavily on bombard cannons, conquistadors must remain the main mounted unit along with the paladin during the Imperial Age, the player must upgrade them as soon as possible to the elite Conquistador.
Researching Supremacy in Imperial Age allows the Spanish to improve their town defense by boosting all the villager attack and defensive stats, but also in many cases the player can abuse their villagers for frontline support and create forward castles, towers and other military buildings just for their defensive stats and building speed.. Also Spanish villagers can help heavily in a siege by attacking buildings and enemy villagers since a Spanish Villager is almost as strong as a standard Infantry.
On maps with water, Spanish must try to take it over early on the game in order to make room for their formidable Cannon Galleons in later ages. Because Ballistics benefit Spanish Cannon Galleons, a siege from the sea can become devastating in imperial age.
Strategy changes in The ForgottenEdit
Spanish Monks are greatly improved, as they already have many advantages that increases further because of their Castle Age unique tech Inquisition that makes the conversion rate of Monks and Missionaries more efficient. Missionaries also are now affected by Bloodlines making them more resistant to attacks enabling them to make a better frontline support.
Strategy Changes in The African KingdomsEdit
Missionaries no longer require a castle to be created also inquisition technology cost is reduced from 400 food and 400 gold to 100 food 300 gold, so in African kingdoms performing a "Missionary Rush" is technically possible.
When playing in team battles is preferred that the Spanish take the pocket position in order to make its boom. They also are excellent Springs when performing a Springboard tactic.
As an ally, the Spanish boost gold production from trade for the team, which make them an excellent mate for practically all civilizations, but specially Italians, Saracens, and Indians, since these three have distinctive bonuses for trading units and the market. This team bonus is considered to be one of the best of all team bonuses in the game.
Having a Turk ally for the Spanish boosts the gunpowder unit production, including the Conquistadors, so in this case the team must keep in mind to defend well in order to reach imperial age for both players and do a team boom abusing their gunpowder units.
The Byzantine team bonus is also specially useful, as the Missionary is counted as a monk, enabling them to heal faster and better support the army. Being a civilization with complete improvements for heavy cavalry, the Frankish team bonus, Hun team bonus and Persian team bonus are also very useful.