Spain/Strategic Overview

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Faction Overview Strategic Overview History
  • Strengths: Strong army and skirmishing cavalry.
  • Weaknesses: Poor mid-game army, economic difficulties.

The Spanish seem better suited on sea maps than land maps where they can use their free ship advantage, and have time to take advantage of the science bonuses with exploring ruins. The map advantage also seems to have greater advantage at sea to allow the Spanish player to seize islands that contain important resources before other players.

Spain begins the game with the map fully explored and with an extra scout or two. This will be instrumental in allowing the Spanish player to plan out their nation's expansion paths, as well as its attack and defensive perimeters way ahead of others. This will help the Spanish to place their cities optimally to take advantage of key and rare resources, and can also help in placing static defenses and military forces in key locations to conduct the nation's attack and defensive actions.

The land is also filled with ruins where a one-time bonus of free resources can be gained by passing one of your units over them. The Spanish player also gains extra resources above those gained by other civilisations. With an extra scout that also has extra line of sight, the Spanish player will be able to collect some huge bonuses early in the game. This advantage should be capitalised upon since the Spanish doesn't receive any other economic bonuses. The gains from the ruins are directly in proportion the science level attained, so it would serve the Spanish player well to research science as their first and maybe even second research buy, since ruins don't tend to stay around long after the game is in full swing when one's science research is beyond the first few levels. However, one must be careful of being attacked early, so don't overdo the science at the expense of a military.

Like Portugal, Spain's land army doesn't get interesting well until the Castle Age, although it gets the Feudal Retinue (thanks to its Germanic heritage) and, like Burgundy, two mercenary units instead of one in the Dark Ages (but it only has one in the Imperial Era). At the beginning, there is the Jinetes line, shared with the Moors and the Portuguese. Unlike the Portuguese who can get upgrade them fairly quick in a normal game, or the Moors who can create lots of them in the Dark Age, Spain is nearly defenceless as it gets no technological or productive bonuses for this unit. It is however in subsequent ages that Spain begins to shine: you are able to recruit almogavar mercenaries, which are anti-cavalry ranged units. These are soon joined up by Spain's all-overwhelming infantry line: the tercios, which are hard to train, but equally hard to kill.

The Spanish shine at sea, being able to build caravels and gain a free heavy warship for every dock built. Early control of the seas will allow the Spanish player free access to the resources at sea, and likely help it retain control of it through out the rest of the game. Docks are available after the first level of Commerce, so as soon as one hits the Castle Age, one should go heavy on wood on sea maps to create as many docks as possible to prevent an invasion, and to keep the enemy pinned down on their own islands. This will also make it next to impossible for anyone else to land a sizable invasion force on sea maps, if one follows this advice, since transports are easily sunk by armed naval vessels. Then when the Spanish economy is humming probably around the Imperial Era, the Spanish can send an invasion force of Tercios with impunity, supported with fleets of carracks and caravels to screen the enemy coastline.

So, Spain remains a very complex but rewarding faction to play as it isn't that predictable. During the Dark Age, scouts should be sent to collect resources from ruins to fund a rush for the Castle Age. In the Castle Age, the Spanish then have to decide whether to attack with its almogavars and horse javelins, or continue teching up to receive the extremely powerful infantry army that made Spain famous in the 16th century.

Faction summary[edit]

  • Highly complex faction that focuses on a combined-arms approach to warfare.
  • Well-Balanced Diet — Wealth is a vital resource used for enhancing the ability of your explorers to claim resources from ruins, recruiting mercenaries, and is also fundamental to creating your all-powerful Tercio gunnersgunpowder units require knowledge, which in turn is derived from the creation of scholars, which need wealth.
  • Miden agan — Balance the creation of an army and the enhancement of economic strength wisely, since you have no access to any economic purposes whatsoever save what your scouts can drag in from ruins. If you are planning on a naval rush, get out lots of wood and food for docks and light ships, while you place your metal into increasing your population cap for free roundships and cogs. If you are going for a land army, calibrate resources towards extraction of metal, knowledge, and food to create Tercio units.
  • Plus Ultra — Tercios are powerful infantry units. The gunners can boost troops around them, while the pike units are dangerous enough. Follow the old Spanish tradition of sorting them in "squares" that can be called up or put aside in the heat of battle.
  • It's Always Darkest Before Dawn — As you do not get your bonuses until the Castle Age, you should concentrate on a defensive Dark Age game meant to hold off the enemy until you can start bringing out your Castle Age units and bonuses.
  • Befrienders — Make alliances with other factions with economic bonuses. The best allies for Spain are the Moors (with their ability to gather lots of food and wealth); Burgundy (with the ability to speed boom); France (which will be seeking someone who can spare infantry); and Sicily (which can feed you and act as a "banker" for you, given its lower costs of trading).

Best age(s):[edit]

Castle Age and Imperial Era.


Strategic Overview
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Basic gameplay Rise of Chivalry Renovatio Europam