So the Spanish get inquisition. Its an incredibly potent unique tech, and it arguably makes spanish monks the best in the game, and the ONLY viable civ for going monks. Yes aztecs are up there, and ofc there are other civs with unique techs that give monks armor, or gold back when the monk dies. However, the inquisition affects the core role of what monks do in a way that really is game breaking to a degree.
Combine this with the missionary, and you have a really really op monk focused civ. Its so op it really crowds out the other choices if you want to play strong monk civs. The thing is, its not OP in and of itself. Spanish monks CAN be countered. So it doesn’t outright break the game, its just that if you want to do monks, the spanish are ALWAYS the defacto best choice.
Combine this with other spanish benefits like extra gold, and conquistadors and you get a civ that is far far too good. Its not that the spanish need to be nerfed so much as they shine so good it makes the rest of the civs look bad, with the exception of the berbers, and possibly the tartars and vikings with their double unique units.
But the problem is that in the early game, spanish don’t have eco bonuses. So, here is my thought. Why not give the spanish an eco bonus that saves them around 200-350 wood in order to even out their early game lack of econ. Replace inquisition with another tech that is just a simple stat buff, and the rename inquisition to something more generic, and put it in the monastery as a tech for exceptionally strong monk civs? From the monastery in order to make room for the new tech, herbal remedy is moved to the university.
moving the core ability of inquisition out and distributing it among strong monk civs like the teutons and the saracens and aztecs and maaaaybe some other civs would do much to reduce the spanish position as being the go to monk civ. The inquisition mechanic is nonnegotiable for a straight monk civ, especially if the enemy has a teuton on the team.
If I were to give the spanish an eco bonus, I would reduce the cost of building a house by 5 wood. Assuming 2 town centers and a castle, to get to 200 pop is 34 houses. Thats 170 wood. Assuming only 1 tc, thats 175 wood. Over games where houses have to be rebuilt, this would tend to add up.