The mighty Almoravids that I have fallen prey to in my previous Granada game are in a pretty precarious position when Crusader Kings II – Sword of Islam starts.
As such, it seems that it will take some time before they become the dominating Islamic power of the Western Mediterranean.
My first sultan, who gets the Wise moniker soon after his 40th birthday, manages to live up to the ripe old age of 67, both a boon and a disadvantage in the long term.
The stability of a long rule means that I was able to expand both to the North and to the South after first picking up the Canaries.
I also pushed up the authority of the crown without seeing too much of a negative reaction from my vassals and built up a few regions, increasing the income I got and enlarging the military infrastructure.
But so many years of one-man rule also mean that a number of my sons died along the way (typhoid fever seems to be quite a problem, even for the wealthy and well born), including a great potential heir with solid diplomatic skills.
When the Almoravid ruler finally died, he was followed by a very weak prince who was unable to hold the land together as vassals revolved and raised mercenary companies to do their fighting.
My conclusion, after trying out four different Muslim dynasties in the Sword of Islam expansion, is that the new religion is great fun to play, with less of a focus on interbreeding and politics and more attention devoted to keeping decadence down and trying to enlarge one’s possessions.
This being said I had the best experience with lowly Granada, which, by location, would have probably had the potential for greatness as long as I avoided some early game mistakes when it came to war.