The country known as Spain has contained numerous civilisations. The Phoenicians,Carthagians,Romans, Visigoths and Muslims have all occupied part of Spain at some point in history. As a result the country has a rich cultural history. Queen Isabella of Spain backed Christopher Columbus's expedition to discover America in 1492. In the following decades the Spanish conquistadors destroyed and enslaved numerous American Indian tribes and civilizations including the Aztecs and Incas. The gold taken from America was so great it devalued the price of gold in Europe. In 1588 the Spanish amassed a fleet known as the Armada to punish England for the piracy on the treasure fleets sent from the Americas to Spain. England inflicted a massive defeat on the Armada and the Spanish Empire declined quickly. Today Spanish is spoken by millions of people worldwide due to Spains imperial legacy. In the game the Spanish have the religeous and seafaring traits which fit its history perfectly. Individually they are perhaps some of the weaker traits in the game. Togather they have little synergy and it is a somewhat awkward trait combination. The religeous trait gives you half priced temples and cathedrals and reduces the amount of time spent in anarchy when you change goverment. The seafaring trait gives you bonus gold per turn for each city that starts on the coast, +1 movement for naval units and a reduced chance for lost at sea accidents for pre industrial age ships. However it is map dependent- great on island and continent maps, weak on pangea maps. Spain gets to start with ceremonial burial and alphabet as starting techs. This allows them to build cheap temples at the start of the game and to attempt to reach philosophy 1st and try grab literature or republic for free. A headstart on the philosophy gambit is always nice. With the ability to make early contacts via scout curraghs Spain can often get an early tech lead and makes a decent tech trading civ. A quick change to republic or monarchy can see Spain off to a geat start. However sooner or later you may need to go to war. As a warmonger Spain fares poorly. It has no early decisive UU and it traits are weak for any aggressive or even defensive plays. In a world of immortals and mounted warriors and rapid expanding civilizations like the Incas, Spain should avoid early wars unless you have no other choice. A late game Spain is average at best with only rapid change of government from Republic/Democracy to Communism/Fascism to recommend for a warmonger player. Some civs that have weak traits for war however have and excellent UU's to compensate. Spain isn't one of them. Overall a 3rd tier warmongering civ. Spains UU is the Conquistador. It costs 70 shields and replaces the explorer and is a 3/2/2 unit that requires horses to build and treats all terrain as roads. It is of limited use however as its weaker than a knight, arrives late in the middle ages and at that point of the game is unlikely to have any exploring to do. However it isn't intended as a primary assault UU and makes a decent pillager or can be used as a special force type unit to knock out a critical resource. It get slightly better in the early industrial age when you have developed cities with factories and the shield cost isn't so prohibitive. Overall though it is one of the weaker UUs in the game and seems entirely optional to build. Spains redeeming feature is as a culture/builder civ. By making rapid intercontinental contact and using the above mentioned philosophy gambit Spain can get off to a rapid tech lead. You can easily switch to republic with Spain and stay there for the rest of the game. Spain has a reasonable chance for a 20K cultural victory. An early temple build and a coastal start lets you build the Colossus early on if you can trade for bronze working and with alphabet the Great Libary is only a few techs away. On an island map Spain is a excellent buider civ. Overall though Spain is a 2nd tier culture/builder civ. Its not a bad civ but there are quite a few scientific/religeous civs that are better than it. Overall Spain is a low 3rd tier civ. However like a few 3rd tier civs it has a niche it fits into. On an island map its a good candidate for cultural victory . If you can beat the AI with this civ its probably time to increase the difficulty level you're playing at. Spain is also a good candidate for the top worst 5 civs award but if you're after a challenge and an interesting civ to play Spain has a role.