Ituk of Ili, Emperor of India: Part 17: 832: Playing CK2 is like debugging C++

I hate it when I plot a brilliant strategy, then I look at the files, and it turns out it's not even going to work.

So the plan was to choose new religion! Candidates being Norse, Slavic, Orthodox, Catholic, Sunni, and Buddhist.

Norse and Slavic being unreformed Pagans would have big disadvantage that I wouldn't be able to demand that my vassals convert, but I can revoke all non-dynastic vassals anyway thanks to medium tribal organization, and I could work around it by reforming them as well, and then ask my family to convert too, so not a huge deal.

Unfortunately, the first problem - convert to spouse/concubine religion only works for Pagan switching to non-Pagan, so I can't go Norse or Slavic that easily. Even worse, this means any decision I make is going to be harder to revert than simply getting a new wife/concubine and paying some prestige or piety.

Second problem - the biggest benefit of going Sunni, Caliph losing duchy level holy war CB on me, yeah that's not going to work as Caliph has special kingdom-level subjugation CB on every independent Muslim ruler, so it would get even worse. Or actually it wouldn't get worse - Caliph also already has kingdom-level jihad and invasion CBs on me anyway in addition to duchy-level holy war I was worried about. Not good. On the other hand Caliph is going to like me a lot more if I convert, so maybe he'll go fight someone else?

And third problem - I won't even have "convert to attacker's religion" option, as that's only available to unreformed Pagans, but it's not a huge deal, as there are some Sunni and Orthodox concubines available (only ones with Pagan or Indian lieges works - no-concubine-religion lieges won't send you a girl as concubine).

And fourth problem - if Caliph holy wars me and I convert to Sunni (via concubine), the war ends inconclusively - but unfortunately I won't be getting 10 year truce this way, so he could attack me again basically the next day. Still, AI is fairly random, so he might decide to go somewhere else, or maybe even die and let his son inherit the Caliphate.

Anyway, back to religions. Orthodox vs Catholic is easy choice - Catholic means losing half (or worse) of bishop money to the Pope and much lower chance of Byzantine Emperor helping me defend against the Caliph, so it's basically strictly worse than Orthodox. At some point Catholics get crusades, and tons of holy orders, so they won't always suck that hard, but it's going to take very long time.

Going Buddhist is cute, as it gives me +4 learning, removes short reign penalty, and unlocks all Rajas of India content, but it doesn't help me with money, doesn't help me with alliances against the Caliph, and CBs are awful - even holy war goes down to county-level only.

And ignoring the issue of Caliph-safety, Sunni is simply best religion in game, especially if decadence is really trending hard towards 0% like I assume it is.

So that leaves me with:

* Go Orthodox right away, ally Byzantine Emperor, hope he'll help me defend against the Caliph
* Wait for Caliph to attack, go Sunni if that happens
* Go Sunni right away
* Go Sunni, swear allegiance to the Caliph, try to undermine him from within (pretty much no way that's going to work at my size)
* Remain Tengri, use super cheesy trick I haven't tested yet, but which might just work, get 30k+ army, invade the damn Caliph, and solve this problem once and for all.

More in next episode. I want to test the damn cheesy trick before I continue.
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