AoE4 Civilization Concept: The Spanish Empire

One might think there wasn’t any Spanish empire at this era. And one would be right if you were to look on the map.But if you start looking at it from the point of view of a Telia-Sonera. You’d be surprised. I spent way to long studying Spanish / Portuguese history, or the History of the Reconquista that lasted from the 8th well into the 16th century. Pretty much the entire timeline AoE4 is set in.

However, one would be wrong to think Spain didn’t exist. The Spanish identity was well there, in a strange way strangely parallel to the Chinese identity. Ruled by many dynasties. Spain was ruled by many Crowns. I mean, J.R.Martin’s game of thrones is pretty much well… fanfiction? in comparison to what was actually going on in the Iberian peninsula, it was like the English royal ascension on steroids. lol. So I did my best to try incorporate the many kingdoms that came to form the Spanish empire.

Spanish Empire

r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain


Reconquista, Missionaries, Navy

Difficulty: 3/3


  • Warships are able to function as tradeships, but with 35% reduced combat efficiency and trade revenue on the active trade routes.
  • Villagers have +8 Torch damage.
  • Gain 10% more gold from Traders.
  • Villagers have 15% more gather rate from meat.
  • Landmarks cost 40% less.
  • Scouts can turn wolves into wardogs.
  • Unique Unit: Missionary
  • Unique Unit: Wardogs
  • Unique Unit: Conquistador

Reconquista: Allows construction of all landmarks, But they have to be within the Reconquista (TownCenter) influence zone, which can be extended with outposts / Towers. Has to create 2 landmarks in order to Age Up. Each landmark grants unique bonuses, even if the landmark is destroyed.Following Kingdom bonus:

  • Crown of Galicia: Reduces cost of Missionaries by 50%, Controlling Sacred sites grants +30 additional resources.
  • Crown of Léon: The cost of farms and ranches is reduced by 25%
  • Crown of Castille: Villagers drop off 8% more wood, stone, and gold.
  • Crown of Navarre: Barracks/Archery Range/Stables can garrison up to 3 units.
  • Crown of Aragon: Units within the influence zone have +2 armor and pierce armor.
  • Spanish Empire: Gold from traders increased by 50%. The wood gathering rate increased by 20%. All friendly units within conversion circle gain 25% more damage for 16 seconds. The cooldown on single-target Conversion is reduced by 50%.

Unique Landmarks:

  • Santiago de Compostela Cathedral: Functions as a Monastery, Is also able to recruit Crusaders for 100F and 200G every 250 seconds. Grants Galicia Bonus; Sacred site controlled in this structure upgrades Crusaders Recruitment following:

    +0 Sacred Sites; a group of 1 knight and 3 horsemen;
    +1 Sacred Sites; a group of 3 knights and 5 horsemen;
    +2 Sacred Sites; a group of 5 knights and 7 horsemen;
    +3 Sacred Sites; a group of 7 knights and 9 horsemen;
  • Royal Palace of Olite: Functions as a Barrack + Archery range, Producing units 200% faster. Grants Navarre trait

  • Aljafería Palace: Functions as a Stable that can recruit units at 30% cheaper. Increases the health of all ships by 10%, and ships are produced 50% faster. Grants Aragon trait

  • Castle of Peñaranda de Duero: Functions as a keep, Lowers the cost of Emplacements by 35%. Grants Castille Bonus

  • Cathedral of Leon: Can garrison up to 10 villagers. Each villager garrisoned generates 0.5 gold per second.

Imperial Age.

  • El Escorial: All previous landmarks need to be built but will grant all the Reconquista Crown Bonuses. This landmark has 50% reduced cost to be built. Can produce any unit for half the cost.

Wonder: Burgos Cathedral**.**

Landmark Notes: In order to age up, one has to construct 2 landmarks. El Escorial is the only landmark that requires all other landmarks to be built.

One can only obtain 1 Crown bonus per age, Crown bonus is given from the first Landmark built in the current age.

Unique Building for Portuguese and Spain

  • Ranch (I, 250w): A large compound that produces Sheep/Cattle that can be harvested for food. Can garrison up to 4 villagers to increase its production rate, also function as a food resource drop off point. (Function similar to a mongol pasture, but size of a towncenter)

Unique Units:

  • War Dog (I, 25F): A weak unit that does not take any population space. Can be set to follow any unit. Attacks are done by this unit to slow down enemy units’ movement speed by 30% for 1.5 seconds. Created in TownCenter.
  • Missionary (II, 150G): Missionary can convert units without holding a Relic, but can only target a single unit. With the haveInquisition upgrade, they can be turned into military units. Created in Monastery.
  • Conquistador (III, 120F 120G): Mounted Crossbowmen that has bonus damage against armored targets as well as being capable in Melee, Become gunpowder unit with Elite upgrade. Created in Archery Range.


  • Gold Rush (I, 75W 50F): Villager drop off 1% more gold for every Villager mining gold, to a maximum of 15%

  • Water Wheels (II, 75W): Docks doubles as resource gathering points for Farms and Forest. Villagers drop off 8% more Food and Wood at docks. Upgraded at Dock.

  • Inquisition (III, 100F 100G):
    r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
    Missionaries are able to be turned into an infantry unit (for the cost of the infantry unit). Upgraded at Monastery.

  • Papal Edict (III, 300G): Grants Reconquista influence to nearby units and structures.

  • Rodoleros (III, 200F 150G):
    r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
    Increases movement speed of Man at arms by 18%. Upgraded at Barracks

  • Tercio (III, 300F 200G):
    r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
    Movement and attack speed of Pikemen increased by 20%. Upgraded at Barracks.

  • Colunella (IV 200F 350G):
    r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
    Cannoneers provide nearby spearmen with +3 Armor, and Spearmen provide nearby Cannoneers with 15% attack speed. Upgraded at University.

  • Armada (IV, 500W 500G):
    r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
    Any ships are able to repair other ships. When repairing, the ship is will not be able to attack. Upgraded at Docks.

  • Treasure Fleet (IV 300F 700G):
    r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
    Tradeships loaded with Trade, provide a boon to nearby ships. Increases their attack speed and movement speed by 20%. Upgraded at Docks.

  • Toledo Steel Blades (IV 200F 425G): Increase the melee damage of all non-siege units by +1. Upgraded in Blacksmith

  • Toledo Steel Mail (IV 200F 425G): Increase the melee armor of all non-siege units by +1. Upgraded in Blacksmith

  • Toledo Steel Arrow Heads (IV 200W 425G): Increase the ranged damage of all non-siege units by +1. Upgraded in Blacksmith

  • Toledo Steel Plate (IV 200W 425): Increase the ranged armor of all non-siege units by +1. Upgraded in Blacksmith

Additional Notes:

The Architecture of Spain is one of a long history and a great mix of different cultures, having influences from once the Roman domination of the Iberian peninsula, to the Visigoth influenced by a lot of the Roman culture, building curches with horseshoe arches and pillars, and simpler Corinthian capitals decorated with images of animals and vegetation.

During the Muslim domination of Spain, a new form of architecture style was brought by the Muslims that had a lasting impact on Spanish architecture, as many mosques and palaces built by the Islamic empires and Taifas that dominated the region was converted into churches, castles and even just used as palaces by the future Spanish royalties that came to dominate Iberia.
The romanesque period that came alongside the Christian conquest over Iberia was mainly centered around Monestarie and Curches, in contrary to the open spaces of mosques and cathedrals, these were more focused on sobriety and meditative atmosphere with low lighting, robust walls, and pillars, as well as very small windows. This form of architecture was mainly found in the north.
The Gothic period came in as Cathedrals became the more important and central focus of the Christian culture and as Christianity came to dominate Iberia. In the 14th century, the renaissance architecture that started in Italy started to get introduced into Spanish architecture. Royalty started to incorporate them into their Palaces, quickly followed up by newer monasteries and churches.
So in a sense for the game, they would start off in the dark ages pretty much something akin to the other European nations, however, as they age up, more Muslim (Abbasid) influences start taking effect. Their houses became more similar in the Feudal and Castle age, before becoming the profound and familiar Spanish architecture we find so prominent in the Spanish colonies in the imperial age.

Naval units: Naval units would be in the style of the European nations, having Galleys, Hulk, and Carracks. But white had a slight distinct flavor and in the imperial age the well renowned Spanish cross on their sails.

Language progression: The Iberian peninsula was and still is a treasure trove of languages today. And went through a huge change throughout this period of time. While the Castillian Spanish, the Spanish we know today came to dominate, Galician-Portuguese, Leonese (Asturian), Aragonese, and Catalan all derived and evolved separately from the Vulgar Latin that was introduced during the classical period by the Romans. You also have a unique language such as the Basque language in the far northern region of Spain. Later on, as Spain started to reconquest Iberia out of Muslim hands, a lot of Mozarabic(Romance dialect spoken in Al Andalus, containing many Arabic loan words) words were incorporated into the Spanish language. 8% of modern Spanish vocabulary contains loan words from Arabic.

Examples being such as:

Hasta (until) from Arabic “hatta”

Aceite (oil) from Arabic “az-zayt”

And we still see traces of Arabic especially in words beginning with “al” (Arabic definite article) Such as Alcohol (Arabic: Al-kuHuul), Alcalde(major) (Arabic: al-qaaDii (judge))

It would be neat if they bothered to add all the languages depending on the Landmark. (representing the Kingdoms founded and merging). Such as going for the Galicia landmark will have your units speak the early form of Galician or Navarre landmark and they would speak Basque for Feudal, but that would be far too much work.

For simplicity’s sake, it would be better to start off as an Ibero-Romance language, perhaps starting off the language in the dark age as an early form of Asturian, before turning into west-Iberian and then into Castillian.

Landmark references:

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral:
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
According to the legend, the apostle Saint James the Great brought Christianity to the Iberian Peninsula, this tomb was rediscovered in AD 814 by Pelagius the Hermit, after he witnessed strange lights in the night sky. Bishop Theodomirus of Iria recognized this as a miracle and info. The king ordered the construction of a chapel on the site. Legend has it that the king was the first pilgrim to this shrine. This was followed by the first church in AD 829 and then in AD 899 by a pre-Romanesque church, ordered by King Alfonso III of León, which caused the gradual development of this major place of pilgrimage that would rival the pilgrimages of those going to the Holyland.

Royal Palace of Olite:
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
Starting out as an ancient Roman fortification, it was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre in the 13th century and extended by his successors. Which then added a palace in 1269.At this time, the Navarrese court was traveling, so it did not serve the purpose of a royal seat at that time, as the castle was occupied intermittently by kings according to their preferences.

It housed the Navarrese court from the 14th until the 16th century, since the integration of the kingdom of Navarre for the Crown of Castile.

Aljafería Palace:
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
After the reconquest of Zaragoza in 1118 by Alfonso I of Aragón, it became the residence of the Christian kings of the Kingdom of Aragón. It was used as a royal residence by Peter IV of Aragón (1319–1387) and, in 1492, it was converted into the palace of the Catholic Monarchs. In 1593 it underwent another restructuring that would turn it into a military fortress, first according to Renaissance designs (which today can be seen in its surroundings, moat, and gardens) and later for quartering military regiments. Originally built by Al-Andalusians, it was the residence of the Banu hud Dynasty, of the Taifa of Zaragoza. The Structure is considered among one of the three best examples of Hispano-Muslim architecture.

Castle of Peñaranda de Duero:
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
The castle originally dates from the 10th century but reforms by Counts of Miranda del Castañar in the 15th century changed much of the building. The castle was an important point on the fortified line which existed between the medieval Christian Kingdom of Castile and the Moor state of Al Andalus during the 10th century. The castle is a narrow-walled precinct, with a four-story keep rising from the center. The keep features a rooftop terrace, battlements, a gallery of machicolations, and three additional square towers, two of which flank the ogival arch that marks the entrance. The walls are solid stone ashlar stone, although much of the keep features decorative wooden beams.

Cathedral of Leon:
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
Initiated in the 13th century, it is one of the greatest works of the Gothic style, with French influences. Also known as the Pulchra Leonina, which means ‘Beautiful Leonese’. The León Cathedral is mostly known for taking the “dematerialization” of gothic art to the extreme, that is, the reduction of the walls to their minimum expression to be replaced by stained glass, constituting one of the largest collections of medieval stained glass in the world. Originally, on the site of the cathedral, there were built thermal baths larger than the current cathedral by the Romans. During the Reconquista, the ancient Roman baths were converted into a royal palace. King Ordonõ II, who had occupied the throne of Leon, defeated the Arabs in the Battle of San Esteban de Gormaz, as a sign of gratitude to God for the victory, he gave up his palace to build the first cathedral. The Tomb of the king is found in this cathedral.

El Escorial:
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
El Escorial is situated at the foot of Mount Abantos in the Sierra de Guadarrama. This austere location, hardly an obvious choice for the site of a royal palace, was chosen by King Philip II of Spain, and it was he who ordained the building of a grand edifice here to commemorate the 1557 Spanish victory at the Battle of St. Quentin in Picardy against Henry II, king of France. Philip also intended the complex to serve as a necropolis for the interment of the remains of his parents, Charles I and Isabella of Portugal, himself, and his descendants. In addition, Philip envisioned El Escorial as a center for studies in aid of the Counter-Reformation cause. Since then, El Escorial has been the burial site for most of the Spanish kings of the last five centuries, Bourbons as well as Habsburgs.


Burgos Cathedral:
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
In 1096 the construction of this church was finished. But the church soon became too small for the needs of a city that were the symbolic capital of the kingdom, a powerful bishopric (the cathedral chapter had more than thirty canons already before 1200), and an increasingly dynamic business center. The decision to build a new cathedral was finally made in the 13th century. As was common at the time, the Romanesque building was destroyed (of which now only some sculptural elements remain), presumably during the second construction campaign of the new cathedral in the 1240s and the 1250s. And on this site, expanded through the demolition of neighboring houses, with donations by Bishop Marino, rose a new Gothic cathedral. It also houses the Tomb of the legendary Spanish hero: El Cid.

Unique Unit:

War Dog:
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain

  • Health: 30
  • Attack: 3 melee; Bonus: Slows down target movement speed by 30%
  • Rate of fire: 1.62
  • Armor: 0
  • Pierce Armor: 0
  • Speed: 0.46 tiles/s

Note: Do not take any Pop-cap. Is not affected by any upgrades. War Dogs have an ability called: “Tomalos!” which increases their movement speed by x3 for 7 seconds. War Dogs can also be put to follow any unit and match their speed the same way sheep are herded. They will attack any unit that attacks either the War Dog or the Unit it is following.
Dogs are still considered “Wild Animals” and thus affected by bonus damage from Professional Scout again them. Limited to 30 dogs.

r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain

  • Health: 90
  • Armor: 0
  • Pierce Armor: 0
  • Speed: 1 tiles/s

*Note:*Is able to convert units without the need for the relic, but is only able to convert a single target.Can be turned immediately into an infantry unit (the cost of the unit), with the Inquisition technology. With the Papal Edict upgrade, one is able to build Landmarks wherever the missionary is, without the need of building a nearby TownCenter or Towers.

r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain
r/aoe4 - AoE4 Civilization Concept: Spain

  • Health: 90/115
  • Attack: 12 Ranged (CrossBow); +9 vs Heavy; 35 ranged (Arquebus);
  • Rate of fire: 2s Ranged (CrossBow); 2s (Arquebus);
  • Range: 5 tiles (CrossBow); 3.5 tiles (Arquebus)
  • Armor: 1/2
  • Pierce armor: 1/2
  • Speed: 1.56 tiles/s


Ranged Cavalry with a bonus against heavy armor with a crossbow. When upgraded into Elite, it becomes a gunpowder unit and is affected by gunpowder upgrades.


This was an unusual Civilization to work with because it fact covers so many kingdoms of diverse and different cultures, and when things look simple on the surface, once you dig a little into it, becomes a rabbit hole in itself. Another thing that made it challenging is the fact that this very period was the forge of Spain as the identity we know of today and the creation of the Spanish empire, and like anything out of this Iberian peninsula, it wasn’t just a simple conquest and unification. Now I understand why Telia-Sonera (Latin-Soap Opera) is such a predominant thing in Latin-speaking countries, they were quite literally shaped by it. From Mother-and-Son relationship gone bad forming the country of Portugal. To your bog-standard fight for heritage between brothers and sisters. And then your occasional love affair went bad, or with undermining intentions. And we haven’t even started with the Reconquista and their Moorish rivals.

But all this accumulated and becomes a springboard to the Spanish empire and pretty much their world domination. When you look at their timeline, it does seem like the Spanish empire just seemingly popped out of nowhere and conquered everything, in fact, to something that has been brewing over time during the Reconquista, and in reality. Just an extension of it.

So when it comes to Spain, I did want to try to represent the Kingdoms that shaped the Spanish empire. Through the Reconquista system and using the Landmarks to represent each crown.Taking inspiration from the Chinese Dynasty system. I wanted to try make my own twist on it, not wanting to copy it 1 to 1. And try to make it into a way that makes them become more unpredictable in the way you want to build your Spanish empire. Do you want defensively and try to boom? Or do you want an attempt in a sacred site to play into early aggression? I also didn’t want to forget the famous Spanish treasure fleets that were hauling immense amounts of gold and wealth into the Spanish empire. Giving their warships the ability to double as a trader, should allow them to emphasize on early naval trade with reduced risk. And their trade ship serve a more supportive role in the late game as the Spanish were famous for over-protecting their treasure fleets.

One challenge, as well as Portugal’s history, is quite intertwined in this as well, but I did not want to include them as I am planning to make them their own Civilization! But it can not be avoided that the history of the Reconquista is not just a Spanish thing, but also just as much a Portuguese thing!

And then when it comes to the Landmark challenge. Spain has so many wonderful castles, palaces, and religious architecture that it’s impossible to be just in their representation. I decided to pick the ones that were not built by the Muslims, the exception being the Aragonese landmark. (As the kingdom of Aragon really started to come into power later into the Reconquista, where their landmark became the central seat of power for the Crown of Aragon). As I wanted to try to represent the original Christian kingdoms of Spain. And thinking their general architecture and the Hispano-Muslim architecture will eventually be reflected by the normal buildings such as houses and castles during age ups. But also I wanted to avoid using many of the landmarks built by the Muslim empires and Taifas that ruled much of Al-Andalus in this time period as I’m considering making them their own Civilization. This is why we are not seeing landmarks such as Torre del Oro, Alcázar of Segovia, Alhambra, and many other amazing architectures that deserve their place!

Next up: Portugal

If you enjoyed this and are interested in reading my other Civilization concept here is a list:

Southeast Asia:
The Majapahit Empire
The Dai Viet Dynasties
The Burmese Empire
The Champa Kingdoms
The Thai Kingdoms
The Khmer Empire

East Asia:
The Korean Dynasty
The Japanese Shogunate

The Norse Vikings
The Scottish Kingdoms
The Ottoman Empire
The Spanish Empire (You are here!)
The Portuguese Empire
The Dutch Empire


Congratulations for this post full of valuable information.
I am surprised as well that there is no Spanish civilization still in AoE IV.

I think the star unit of this civilization should be the Tercio (colunella). This was the most important infantry unit in the European wars since the end of the XV century. Would be quite similar to the streltsy but with pikes instead. They are earlier than stretsy. A difference is that Tercios used a combination of pike men and arquebusier (not the same unit holding both weapons). This was the end of the cavalry´s supremacy in Europe.

Conquistador, with a crossbow first, is an interesting concept.

About war dogs, I’m not so excited, unless they could be used for hunting as well?

The choice of landmarks its great, and the idea of choosing a different kingdom like the Chinese concept is very interesting too.

Also the idea of warships acting as trading ships.

Great work and thanks for sharing.
Are there any plans from AoE developers to implement new civilizations like the spanish one?


I added some changes to the crown system making it stand out more and be more strategic.

It is the reason I chose Tercio into a Technology rather than a unique unit.
Because they were more than just spearmen/maa/handcannoneers.
they were a combination of that.

With the combined techs of Rodorellos, Tercio and Colunella, one should be able to make “tercios” out of the standard units in the game. and they would stand out from other.
This was after all a military doctrine that became profound for the Spanish, pioneering the pike and shot that came to dominate rest of Europe.
And I wanted to encourage them to use the spearmen, handcannoneers and maa together in a sort of tercio formation

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I live near Olite! As a basque speaker spaniard I loved your post!

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Well now you can build your house in the game if they add my idea! lol!

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Best post I’ve seen around! Great job
:astonished: :clap: :clap: :clap:


Spain is definitely missing as a civ. And this post is a great example of how it could be introduced. GJ