Spain are a relatively united force by recent standards, as most of the Christian kingdoms and fiefdoms are united, but the tight hold that the Moors have on southern Spain and the recent independence of Portugal mean that they are not necessarily a hugely powerful kingdom. Obviously, the first priority will be to take the rebel territories to the east and to push the Moors back to North Africa, but beyond that, the objectives are not so clear. France are a powerful kingdom and invading them is perhaps not a wise choice, which leaves a naval-based empire. This may be the future or it may be folly, the success or failure of the Spanish king will determine that. Spain’s main strengths are an excellent navy and excellent light infantry and cavalry, while they lack heavy infantry and spearmen in the early period.
Spain start with two of the eight settlements on the Iberian Peninsula. The first priority will be a race for the two rebel settlements, although Valencia is very well defended so ensure you have siege equipment. If Portugal attack you, then destroy them, but you can’t predict it well, Toulouse is a good place to gamble on, since France normally fail in their first siege and since dominating the western coast of Europe is a good way to ensure you are first to the New World (although this isn’t essential to win the campaign). Either way, you’re going to be fighting France eventually at some point, so taking a castle there will give you a far stronger position when the time comes. The best place to expand is to fight the Moors, especially if they are allied to Portugal, since this provokes Portugal into war with you and therefore allows you to take out Portugal and make a great economic centre of gravity on the Iberian peninsula. The Moors are islamic, so your priests will gain piety faster by converting them and you are able to call crusades against them, freeing up upkeep money, allowing you to recruit elite units cheaply and giving your successful generals very good traits and ancillaries. Once you have this small but powerful empire, the world is your oyster.
The following table contains all of the units that Spain can recruit in Multiplayer and Custom Battles. For the Grand Campaign, use the “All” period with the following corrections:
Units in (Brackets) are mercenaries and therefore cannot be trained in campaign, although any general can recruit them in the field if he has space in his army and there are some available.
Units in [Square Brackets] cannot be recruited in campaign, they are for Multiplayer and Custom Battles only.
Units in Italics can only be recruited in certain regions (eg. The New World) or after a certain event (eg. The discovery of gunpowder).