i would like to ask for your experience with this game.
after several plays i consider some nations are weaker.
(For example Spain - 0 luxuries in first round, and only 3 gold for winning war without population)
I played just four plays. But maybe i missed some rules.
What is your feelings?)
I'm really glad it kept you engaged for four games!
It is certainly true that the nations are not equally powerful. Different nations will be much weaker or stronger depending on the order of the war tiles, which of course determine when different resources are available.
This is why each game begins with a draft, where the players balance the nations by adding revolts to the ones players most want. The more drafting rounds that multiple players want the nation, the more victory points it loses at the beginning.
Spain starts with a lot of productive capability and a power that is fairly easy to activate. The difficulty comes from the trade-off between wanting a lot of people thanks to their very high starting territories, and wanting a lot of wars that do not provide people thanks to their power.
Spain will be strongest in games where most wars grant people, but the most valuable wars do not. Then, focus on winning one of those valuable wars early - if you're being competitive in the other areas of the game, you should hopefully be able to turn the gold bonus into winning another of those target wars. Empire can often be about chaining bonuses to victory.
I'm curious, how many revolts did the players take in the drafts of your games? If players were very hesitant to take revolts, that might show the nations are still pretty close in power, because players were not willing to lose 1 more point to take a more popular nation.
Its possible that your games just had wars that did not work well for nations like Spain, or that the strategies your group uses make the nation weak. If that's the case, don't draft it. You may see players still pick it as the other nations start to take more revolts.
I love hearing people talk about the meta, so I'm really interested in other people's opinions.