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The Golden Fleece of Spain

by Daelon

Spain in the 18th century was a menace. Ruled by the catholic church and some ugly kings, Spain was a slumbering giant. The obsessed religious leaders had huge influence for the king of Spain, along with the rich nobles. The royal family of Spain in the early 18th century was neglectful to the country. In ETW, it's hard to make friends as Spain.

They have colonies in America, and borders with France, Morocco, and Portugal. Spain also held provinces in Italy & Sicily, which are prime targets for Italian minor factions, such as Savoy, Genoa, and Italian States. France soon breaks the alliance with Spain, and before you know it you're all on your own.

Part 1: Spain's Caribbean colonies

These colonies don't bring much in the way of taxes, but in late game can make you thousands of gold per turn through trade. Pirates rule the seas in the Caribbean, along with British and French fighting over land. You are a protectorate of New Spain, which doesn't do much for you. New Spain's purpose is for trade, nothing else really.

I spend much time and gold investing into the colonies in the Caribbean. It pays off in the late game, and can prove to be a vital trade asset. Florida is just a weak link for Spain. The Cherokee Indians constantly attack Florida until they can get it. I usually sell Florida right off the bat and save myself gold and a headache.

Developing Cuba & Hispaniola's city is key to the success of these colonies. You really don't need a military garrison in the cities. Keeping tax rate at the lowest tick possible keeps order in good check. Britain & France usually don't do naval invasions on these colonies unless you're playing on VH/VH.

Part 2: Southern Italy & Sicily

Southern Italy provides a number of opportunities, both trade income, trade materials, and potential land gain if you go to war against Italian States. Naples is the technical term for the Southern Italian region. Late game 3, 4, and even 5 ports are built on this region.

The city of Naples can easily generate 2,000 gold per turn late game, around 1750. You'll want to keep peace with the Ottomans and any Italian faction throughout the game. Unless you have a strong military presence garrisoned in both Sicily & Naples.

Sicily doesn't offer much. Later in the game a port develops, and you receive a bit of income from the mine that is on the island. It's fine if you can hold it, but don't bother putting a military garrison on the island. Save the upkeep for another unit to go into Naples garrison.

Part 3: Spain herself.

Madrid is your center of commerce, it's where the base of your government is along with your primary source for military recruitment. It is very important to keep a good garrison in Madrid, along with a wealthy infrastructure. Keeping farms upgraded, and maintaining the borders insures a healthy growing Madrid.

Be careful, crazy Morocco can declare war at any moment and take Gibraltar in a heartbeat. The only significance Gibraltar has is it controls the flow of ships through the narrow straight that leads into the Mediterranean. And more importantly, it blocks any invaders off from entering from the south. That is, Morocco.

Part 4: Let's be friends!

Make alliances with everyone possible in the first few turns as Spain. They may not be useful, but in any shortcomings they can aid and assist you if they have an army/navy nearby. In my most recent Spanish campaign, I was able to establish a trade agreement and alliance with EVERY minor faction in Europe. This proved to be an excellent source of support when I invaded France then Prussia.

France will be allied with you for a few years then out of nowhere will break the alliance, and go to war against you. Don't bother making an alliance with Portugal or Morocco, you want those territories for more man power and income.

Part 5: Chose your enemies wisely.

It's easy to be hated as Spain. You own a lot of land in many places, and typically are one of the more richer factions. You have feisty neighbors in the west and south, and soon France from the north. Great Britain also rages war against you, but they do little in terms of actually attacking you. Any aggressive moves they make will be in the Caribbean.

A good idea is to first take Portugal, then quickly take Morocco. After Morocco is taken, sweep east through the Barbary states. Stop the invasion right before the Ottomans. They are not a faction you want to fight yet.

Part 6: The conquest into Europe

You have many options on who you want to go war with. The easiest faction to go to war with would be the Italian States. Sweeping north into the smaller minor factions is an easy chance to obtain land and income. This partially secures your Naples & Sicily provinces, but you still need to be careful about the Ottomans & Maratha Confederacy.

Or, you can go to France! Taking Paris might be the hardest city to take in the game. It's a large city, huge populace, and can easily garrison half a stack of urban militia. The hardest part about taking Paris is obtaining the city and keeping the peace. Then later gaining the city's income from taxes.

The last move you can make would be to go south through Morocco, east into the Barbary states, and take out the Ottomans. I have yet to really try this but I'm sure it'll be just as hard as taking France. You'll need a high flow of troops and gold per turn to out man the Ottomans. They have merciless elephants and artillery that can make mince meat out of a European professional army.

hope you joined yet another guide from me! Until next time,

-Daelon


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