I tried Spain for the first time and I decided to play a random map. After 30 turns or so of exploration, I had seen the full extent of the small island I was on and, much to my dismay, I was sharing my small island with England. While this sounds like an awful starting position, I've been playing on King difficulty and I wanted to give myself a good test to see if I'm ready to bump up to Emperor. My greatest strength in this game was my ability to explore faster than the AI. I was the first civ to discover 5 out of the 6 natural wonders, and 4 of them were found early on which gave me 2000 gold to play with. This gold let me buy an army to knock England out and to settle cities and buy tiles to have Krakatoa and Mt. Fuji inside my borders. I ended up taking over a city state to gain both tiles of the Great Barrier Reef, and built a city later in the game near Mt. Kilimanjaro. Maybe it was the difficulty I played on, or maybe it was just luck, but I found Spain's unique ability to be stellar on the archipelago. As soon as I knew I was on a small island, I teched up so I could build triremes and embark units. I'm not sure if I would have been the first to discover so many of the natural wonders if I had been playing on a Pangaea map. My first impressions of Spain were good. Their unique units are lackluster - I didn't build a single Tercio - but the unique ability was fun. I think I'm going to try to jump up to Emperor next.