Philip II “the prudent” will take the torch from Isabella to lead the Spanish people in Civilization VI. Reigning for the latter half of the sixteenth century, Philip ruled Spain during the height of its imperial power. He oversaw extensive colonial expansion, including his namesake, the Philippine Islands. Philip was also a fiercely devout Catholic, rallying the Spanish Armada against Protestant England and sending Conquistadors to spread the faith to the new world by any means necessary.
Spain’s unique ability, Treasure Fleets, gives their intercontinental trade routes additional gold yields. It also allows Spain to combine multiple ships into single fleet units earlier than their rivals, taking advantage of Civilization VI‘s new compromise between the one unit-per-tile of V and IV‘s “stacks of doom.”
The rest of Spain’s abilities are all about religion. Philip’s leader ability, El Escorial, gives his units a bonus when fighting against civs following another religion. His Inquisitors also have an additional charge for removing heresy. Their unique unit, the Conquistador, receives a significant damage boost when sharing their tile with a non-combat, religious unit (missionary, inquisitor, or apostle). They also automatically convert captured cities to Spain’s majority religion if adjacent when the city falls. Finally, the unique Spanish tile improvement, the Mission, provides faith, with bonuses to faith for being on a different continent from the Spanish capital and a science boost when next to a campus.
Spain is the first religious-focused civilization option we’ve seen so far. Although we don’t yet know the exact conditions for the religious victory, presumably they involve having your religion become the dominant global faith, and Spain seems set up to achieve that through force. They are also similar to England, with their colonial focus on continents other than where they begin. It’s important to note that continents are now named in Civ VI, and that exceptionally large landmasses are often broken up into multiple continents (like Eurasia), so these abilities will not be completely blanked on Pangaea maps.
Civilization VI comes to PC on October 21, 2016.