My concern with the spanish

First, a disclaimer:
I’m not directly asking for nerfs nor buffs. Balance-wise the spanish are imo kind of fine. Same for conquistadors, balance-wise they’re fine. I’ve never felt oppresed by them in a game I wasn’t already losing. Balance is not the point of this thread.

Greetings, you all. So, this has been in my head for a while now. I’m going straight to the point. Spanish relay way too much on conquistadors to be decent. The civ has one of the widest tech tree in the game and generalistic bonuses that allow for a diverse army composition and smooth transitions. Yet almost every game the way to go is play defensive until you have a castle up and start spamming conquistadors and that’s gonna be your go-to unit no matter how the game develops. If the enemy add skirms mix some light cav. Sometimes some siege for archers, but that’s it.

As I see it, the problem lies in the unit itself. Conquistadors are too good at everything. They hit hard, kite really well, raid, have decent range, are mobile. It got even worse with the recent gunpowder buff.
Now, I’m not saying they’re overpowered. Not at all. Just that they’re better than everyting else spanish have to offer. In 90% of the game massing conquistador is the way to go, no matter how the game develops. And that’s imo bad design. It’s boring. It leads to predictable games with one of the most versatile civs in the game.

I would really like to see small changes to make them rely less on conquistadors. They’re in need of a little bit of help anyway. A small nerf to conquistadors (less pierce armor?) and a buff somwhere else could make it so the other aspects of the civ can shine.

What are your thoughts?


As a said note:
I love history. And the history of medieval spain is one of my favorite topics, it has nothing to envy to the rest of western europe’s history. It’s a pitty that what we have in a medieval game is a civ based on the XVI century empire focusing almost entirely in gunpowder, monks, water and trade just because Sandy Petersen thought it was cool. The changes to the civ I mentioned above could make the civ feel a little less like AoE3.

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They are a little predictable , but I prefer their unique playstyle of making conqs over them playing like any other civ. Nerfing the UU may just cause them to ignore it entirely and Spanish would become even worse.

A similar situation seems to exist for the Koreans. They essentially have to spam War Wagons or play at a disadvantage. I don’t have a solution here, not even quite sure its a problem.

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Well this is what happens with most civs to be honest, there are not many civs with more than one gold unit that scales well into the late game you want to build your army around. Spanish can offer flexibility in term on how to build your composition around conqs, since you definitely have a lot of options (skirms, hussars, halbs, siege rams, bombard cannons, even heavy cav if you can afford). I personally never end up playing the same composition with Spanish.

The fact that generally you want to rush conqs with spanish is a consequence of their lack of crossbows and strong eco bonuses, if you want to prevent that you potentially need to give them both. But they would definitely be less unique if you do that, also weakening their spot on the maps where they’re strong if you contestually nerf conqs


Weird enough, spanish is in bad position in both aoe2 and 3


Bad position in aoe3??, I mean Spanish here are a top civ, in fact nerfed

About AOE2 I agree they need a small eco bonus

Widest tech tree? On the contrary, I find them so weak and predictable because they completely miss one of the main troop line (archers). They might have a lot of upgrades overall, but it’s the complete lack of the archer line that forces them into the same strategy every time imho.
Conquistador is good in castle age, but in imperial age has the same armor of FU HCAs, costing 30% more and being slower to mass and to move, with similar dps, lower rof but more burst damage, lower accuracy and 10hp more.
I don’t see any good reason to nerf it honestly.

Spanish should get xbow, more accuracy for Conquistadores but lose on archer armor
On Aoe3, i meant about the ‘‘lack of identity’’, i don’t like its cards and all other civs sounds more interesting to play

idk, I feel like spanish take it to an extreme. Even when enemy goes skirms you see pros going full conqs until they mass enough skirms nad it’s time to add light cav.

Similar dps against 0 PA targets. Conqs perform way better than HCA against high PA units. Not counting a frame delay less than half than CA’s, making it much easier to kite.

As I said. I don’t think conqs are oppresively strong. There is no need to nerf them. It’s just that everything else spanish have to offer is way weaker.
If spanish recieve a buff It should not be something that help them get castles quicker. Since eco bonus inevitably helps them massing conqs some kind of military bonus like techs discounts or smth like that may work.

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Proposed Spanish Buffs:

  • Extend the Blacksmith bonus to University technologies
  • Berry Bushes contain 50% more food

The first buff could make going for cavarly archers a more viable option than ever, so they don’t have to rely that much into the UU, also making them more appealing on water maps, as well making a fast Imp with them.
The second one gives them a considerable eco boost for open maps to compete with other civs and not fall behind

But the accuracy is much lower, and the range lower as well, also they are (I don’t know why, they’re no Boyars) slower than knights, while CAs are faster. True on the frame delay.

It’s not really weaker, since they have a lot of FU units, it’s the lack of military bonus, economic bonus, and the lack of the whole archer line that renders them weak and predictable imho.

If they got Xbow, I’d trade it with the HCA instead, assuming civ bonuses remain the same.

Nice and double nice.
But what about University techs that require no food like Ballistics?

They would have a complete change on Castle Age meta if gets xbow and a cheaper Ballistics

Will have almost zero effect.

Very big bonus which is not necessary.

I personally proposed changing blacksmith discount to non monastery techs cost 50% less gold. Will save 25 gold in dark age from loom and in feudal 50 from bloodlines, 25 from fletching. Currently they save only 50 gold in Feudal and Spanish is one of the least likely civ to grab that tech.

People will probably grumble spanish being less unique if you nerf conq. In current meta, we have seen enough of xbow/knight. Even if you buff missionary/CA and nerf conq, it seems a nerf for Spanish.

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I think Spanish are fine. They were considered kind of Ok civ before DE. But low tier civs were buffed and Spanish become kind of bad civ. But still, they are top tier civ in nomad, which is used as one of the mapin the s tier tournament. See Open classic or Holy cup.
I would nerf other civs rather than buff Spanish. Or tower buff may indirectly buff Spanish. Also conquistador nerf would kill Spanish uniqueness

I don’t see many difference than most other units to be honest, it’s fairly normal to stick a bit with a gold unit and then transition when it’s countered, expecially if gold unit is faster than his counter and can still get value with mobility

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Ok shower though. Consensus is that spanish need help with the early stages, but any eco bonus would inevitably lead to make their fc into conquistadors easier. At the same time, we can take magyars as an example that a strong economy is not a must for a civ to be competitive. So I thought about a bonus that help them save resources when they do not go for conqs:

  • Military units cost -5 food

This would mean:
skirms: 25f → 20f, 20% cheaper in food (8.3% cheaper)
h canoneers: 45f → 40f, 11% cheaper in food (5.3% cheaper)
pikes: 35f → 30f, 14% cheaper in food (8.3% cheaper)
swordmen: 45f → 40f, 11% cheaper in food (8.3% cheaper)
light cav: 80f → 75f, 6% cheaper in food (7.6% cheaper)
knights: 60f → 55f, 8% cheaper in food (3.7% cheaper)
*swordmen w/ supply
*Conquistador cost increased so they are not affected by the bonus.

As you can see this bonus barely affect knights, avoiding turning them into another cav civ, but rather helps when massing infantry, skirms, and a light cav, but not in an abussive way. Also conquistadors don’t lose anything except protagonism, which is the main objective of the change. Their “identity” is still there, if you consider the raw power of the UU as their identity.

How does this bonus affect the spanish?

  • Drush, MaA barely affected. Only 15 food saved.
  • Slight improvement to regular scouts opening: 15 to 30 food saved.
  • Greater impact when going extended feudal with scouts. 50 food every 10 scouts. As you can see they don’t become a scouts/light civ either.
  • Once in castle age, training pikes, skirms or light cav to support conquistadors becomes more attractive than how little it currently is.
  • Coupled with their blacksmith bonus they can perform smooth transitions and field a varied army with lesser drawbacks.

With this bonus spanish recieve just a slight boost if you play them the regular way, that is drush fc into conqs, but rewards you when deciding to rely on other units, excepting knights which remain almost unnafected. It doesn’t improve them abbusively in nomad neither, since conquistadors are the protagonist in that map.

Side note: I’ve also done the math for -10 instead of -5 food, but that seems to be more than what spanish need, with 16.7 cheaper pikes, skirms, and swords and 12.5% cheaper scouts.

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Spanish is the only civ that has all 3 FU trash units. Even after including so many civs. This along with Supremacy gives them one of the top tier trash in game imo. A discount for all of the trash on top of that sounds crazy to me. Maybe it can be limited to gold units only, Knights, Swordsmen, HC.


What a nice civ that just needs to not lose for one hour to be actually decent :smiley:

Spanish are a civ that have nothing but conqs and the faster building speed for nomad. Anything else including the bs bonus are tailored for late-game gold savings and trash war.


Military units cost -10% food.
That way their skims and pikes won’t be buffed as much. And they can get a minimal power spike during early game, when they need it the most.