The Spanish were best known for exploring much of the world across the Atlantic and for being among the first Europeans to establish colonies along the Caribbean and the Americas. They were also known for defeating powerful Amerindian empires of the New World and introducing Christianity to the region as a result of their powerful navy and superior weaponry. To reflect this achievement, Spanish gunpowder units fire faster and their Cannon Galleons fire more accurately with a Ballistics-like effect and also, their cannonballs travel faster. Their superior weaponry and metallurgy is represented by the fact that their Blacksmith technologies require no gold to be researched. In addition, they can train more than one unique unit, namely the Conquistador and the Missionary which are both mounted units.
To reflect their widespread religious activity in the Americas, Inquisition allows their Monks and Missionaries to convert faster. As another result of their overseas conquest and their successful search for riches, the Spanish team bonus increases productivity of all allied trade units.
The Spanish are classified as a gunpowder and Monk civilization. They excel at these two particular areas, getting all possible upgrades there bar Siege Engineers as well as specific bonuses and technologies, but the Spanish are far from being limited to their areas of expertise. Their infantry and cavalry units are great and do not miss out on a single feature. The Paladin deserves a special mention here as very few civilizations can utilize them. Their archers rank below average, though. The Spanish navy is simply excellent; their technology tree there is perfect (a feature that is only shared with the Byzantines) and their Cannon Galleons can effectively be used in naval battles and are not limited to razing buildings thanks to the faster and more accurate cannonballs. The siege weapons are overall average, but the faster attacking Bombard Cannons make a notable difference. The defensive structures are also strong for the Spanish, which leaves their economy to be the shallow part in their tree. Overall, the Spanish have a very complete technology tree that enables them to pick from a wide variety of viable strategies.
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Spanish AI characters:
Álvarez de Toledo: Surname of a prominent aristocratic Spanish family, may refer to Fernando, 3rd Duke of Alba (1507-1582), the brilliant military tactician who conquered Portugal in 1580, or García, 1st Duke of Alba (c. 1424-1488).
Cardinal Jimenez (1436-1517): Religious and political figure influential in the Spanish clergy and government; promoted forced conversion of the Moors and crusades into North Africa. Also known for founding what is now the Complutense University of Madrid.
Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536): Spanish royal, daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand II. Aragonese ambassador to England before becoming Queen of England upon her marriage to Henry VIII. His annulment of the marriage against the will of the Pope famously led to England's schism with the papacy.
Count Berengeur: Misspelled, the title could refer to any of the many Counts of Barcelona or Providence from the Berenguer family from the 11th to 13th centuries.
El Cid Campeador (c. 1043-1099): Famous nobleman and military leader in Spain. Originally served under King Alfonso VI, but exiled after attacking a Moorish protectorate of the Spanish King; in exile, he conquered the Moorish Kingdom of Valencia. Immortalized by legend, poetry, and theater.
Gonzalo de Codóba: Misspelled, most likely General Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (1453-1515) known for military success in Italy often using innovative tactics such as trench warfare.
Hernan Cortéz (1485-1547): Conquistador famous for defeating Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc and conquering his empire, leading a campaign between 1519 and 1521 with the aide of indigenous states hostile to the Aztecs.
King Alfonso : Many Christian Kings of the name Alfonso ruled over parts of Spain, including Alfonso I "the Catholic" of Asturias (c. 693-757), Alfonso VI "the brave" of León and Castile (bef. 1040-1109), and Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214).
King Charles VIII: Likely a mistake; the only kings of the name Charles VIII were of Sweden (1408-1470) and of France (1470-1498).
King Ferdinand: Multiple Christian Kings of the name Ferdinand ruled over parts of Spain, including Ferdinand I "the Great" of León (c. 1016-1065), Ferdinand I of Aragon (1379-1416), and Ferdinand II of Aragon and Castile (1452-1516) who jointly presided over the beginning of the global Spanish Empire with his wife Queen Isabella.
King Ramiro of León: Could refer to Ramiro II (c. 900-951), king from 931-951 and famous for his military success, or Ramiro III (961-985), king from 966-984 who came to the throne at the age of five and later tried but failed to install; an absolutist regime in León.
King Sancho: Many Christian Kings of the name Sancho ruled over parts of Spain, including the first King of Navarre, Sancho VI "the Wise" (died 1194), Sancho IV "the Brave" (1257-1295) of León and Castile, and Sancho II "the Strong" (1037-1072) of Castile (and later León) who was the son of Ferdinand I.
Ordono II of León (c. 873-924): King of Galicia from 910-924, King of León from 914-924. Ruled in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula, most of which was ruled by Muslim kingdoms against which he often went to war.
Pedro the Cruel (1334-1369): King of Castile and León from 1350-1369. Fought a decades of war against the Kingdom Aragon (which eventually defeated Pedro with the support of the Pope and the French King). Labelled "The Cruel" by his contemporaries, others have called him "Pedro the Just."
Queen Isabella (1451-1504): Queen of Castile from 1474-1504. Ruled jointly with her husband, Ferdinand II or Aragon, forming the basis for Spanish unification. Also famous for financing Christopher Columbus's expedition, leading to the Age of European colonization of the Americas.
Ramiro I of Aragon (bef. 1007-1063): The first King of Aragon, ruled from 1035-1062. Took part in the Reconquista, subjugating small Moorish kingdoms on his borders. Killed in the Battle of Graus.