Pamplona is among the game's most forgettable ships. Her only real strengths are an above-average move action, and a flexible ability, but her noncompetitive cost, useless links, average hold, and meh armament make her a weak choice overall... or do they?
I think that her stats are just good enough to make her a viable gold runner in games with Mysterious Islands in play, and she's in the sweet spot for another strategy that may have serious use for Spain in larger games: she is her nation's ticket to a fleet admiral crew.
Here are the ways I'd set up each of these roles.
Mysterious Islands Gold Runner: Dominic Freda + Helmsman (optional)
This would give her S+L move, 4 cargo, and the Explorer keyword. Not cost-effective at 15 points, but her re-roll would help keep her resistant to the negative effects of Mysterious Islands. She could be faster with use of a helmsman (L+S+S) if you're willing to sacrifice cargo space.
Not Recommended Gunship: Luis Zuan + Almirante Devente Del Nero + Joaquin Vega
Way too expensive (21 points) for a gunship that's comparable to HMS Nautilus. Skip this.
Fleet Admiral Abode: Tariq the Black + Kheir-ed-din
The point limit of Pamplona means that both these crew can fit aboard with zero points to spare. The built-in re-roll favors the fleet admiral ability, too. While her armament of 3S-4L-3S isn't amazing in the slightest, she can still serve as a support gunship in larger games, provided she's flanked at all times by protection for one of Spain's only source of a fleet admiral.
Fleet Admiral Flagship: Tariq the Black + Kheir-ed-din + Armada/Diablo with Roberto Santana aboard via use of Master Bianco elsewhere in your fleet.
This one's reserved for the biggest games. Either flotilla would give a much-needed boost to Pamplona's defensive capabilities, and since she already has a respectable base move, it won't be a waste of the gun platform. Santana can throw his weight where it's needed on the battlefield, as can the fleet admiral, but in a pinch, he can apply his bonus to Pamplona for respectable 2S-3L-2S guns, assuming she's without escort.
Counters: far better, more cost-effective MI gold running options exist, and will outstrip her to the wild islands. Interceptors, submarines, and sea dragons stand good chance of ambushing Pamplona and seizing the upper hand, as her speed is good, but not exceptional, and her armament passable at best.
Strengths/Pros: solid way for Spain to get a fleet admiral, acceptable MI gold runner.
Weaknesses/Cons: too mediocre and expensive to bend to fit other roles.
Artwork and aesthetics: pretty generic for a Spanish ship. Features none of their classic orange-crimson striping, which I miss.
Overall rating: 7/10. She isn't an awesome ship, but she's almost perfect for the fleet admiral setups I've described above. It's tough to rate a ship that has one or two things it's pretty good at, and a bunch of things she's useless for. Thus, I may be overrating her by a point (or two), but I think we can agree that 7 is about as high a rating as anyone can give Pamplona.