So I've played 160 turns into Into the Renaissance as Saladin, and it's been pretty fun so far. I like that while everyone has the same set of VP conditions, some are more suited to certain styles of play. I figured that starting in Egypt I'd have easy access to both Jerusalem and Mecca and could just rack up points sitting on them and reaping the rewards of religion. The big problem I encountered is that Islam is horrendously terrible. The belief (Hajj, I think?) that gives 1 gold/4 followers is good, granted, but pretty much every other aspect of the religion just gives you extra faith. You get better missionaries too, but conversion is almost impossible because all the Christian nations hate you and won't sign open borders, and you don't want to convert them anyways because you'll lose the extra conquest points (which you'll need, since expanding peacefully and maintaining control of both holy cities left me in the middle of the pack until I knocked out Suleiman and a good third of the Byzantines). You get Mosques too, but they're mostly good for getting more faith that you can't do anything with. And then the Ayyubid's UB, the Madrassah, is just a university that gives you faith that you can't do anything with. I've been sitting on over 4,000 for most of the game after buying Mosques in all my natural cities and conquests – I get free courthouses so I just instantly annex and buy it – and there's just nothing to spend it on. And that's without even building Shinres (which get +2 faith that you can't do anything with) and Temples (which I think also get +2 faith that you can't do anything with). That means that not only am I ignoring faith for the most part, most of my beliefs aren't really doing anything, and my UB isn't either. Does anyone else get that feeling? I understand that they crafted the beliefs to represent the 5 Pillars of Islam, which is cool, but it just seems like it's really crappy compared to all the other religions. And that's way too bad, because religion is a central, even the central, element of that scenario, and what sets it apart. Also, the problem is exacerbated in that unlike the Christian nations there's really little chance that Protestantism will spread to your cities. It's good that they put in some of the really important Muslim nations, because not to do so would be ridiculous, but it seems like they spent very little effort on actually crafting their gameplay. Incidentally, I got the same impression from the Sassanids in Fall of Rome, which don't really seem to get VPs from anything but holding their capital, but still need to conquer a big chunk of Byzantium, probably including Constantinople, to get enough points to win. And whose UA doesn't do anything if they conquer because their happiness dips too low. Whereas all the other nations seem much better put together, although I haven't tried them all.