Hello! I'm Alerias, and you may remember me from my former "Nerf the Invasion CB" thread, where I annexed France, Iberia (leon), Poland and Hungary within the lifespan of the 1066 Holy Emperor.
This time I'm playing a game as Apulia where I've essentially unified Italy, Croatia and North Africa, and crusaded for the Holy Land. Separating my Italo-Croatian possessions and my Mid-East Empire was a beefed up Byzantine empire, stretching from Dacia to Georgia to Beirut.
Normally you can only get invasion CBs granted on countries which share the same faith. However theres no 'national faith' in CK, its all character-based, and in this case of course, based on the religion of the head of state. Therefore, I figured (correctly) that if I could produce a Catholic heir to the Byzantine throne, I could not only make him vulnerable to the Papacy (which loves me as a Crusader and "True Christian Knight") but also cause substantial havoc within the realm because surely that wouldnt go down too well with the vassals.
Came in play the third heir to the Byzantine throne, an unmarried Greek/Orthodox youth, to which I've managed to marry my most stunning princess. She moved to Constantinople and bore him a son, of course, at which point I sent my best poisoner there... oh wait, no, he was already there pilfering Byzantine tech ... and killed my son-in-law. Immediately after I invited my daughter back home, and she brought the kid along. At this point, the baby was second in line for the throne, and the Emperor was getting old. (70+)
Then, and this is the part where I think I was fairly clever, I raised the baby myself, and finally realized what all these ridiculously one sided events are good for. You surely all noticed many child-rearing events are basically "Choice A: Make him Temperate, Holy, Gregarious and the Pope falls in love with him" "Choice B: Make him Greedy, Glutonous and he wants to impregnate his sisters!". Well for once, I picked all the bad events.. cross-referencing closely with the traits of the Pope and putting a high value on everything that the Church would frown upon. Of course, in the process, the little brat became an Italian Catholic. 15 years later, the old Caesar had croaked, and the first in line for the Byzantine throne had not only crappy stats, but 6 of the 7 deadly sins.
I was planning on killing his uncle in Byzantium but I didnt even need to. At 17 years old, my little monster naturally got on the throne. Lucky break. I immediately checked what the Pope thought of him: (-86). And on the seventh day, the King of Italy had finished his work of creation, saw that it was good, and so he rested from all work.
The venerable Holy Crusader, liberator of the Holy Sepulcre, the King without sin, thus went to the little bishopric in Benevent from which the Pope ruled ever since his own father had taken the Papal states, and, with outrage on his face, told him about the monster sitting on the throne in Byzantium, and was immediately granted rights to invade 'In the name of God and the Blessed Virgin'.
The task was all the more simple considering the little prince had about 7 rebellions on his hands. Apparently Italian Catholics and Greek Orthodoxy doesn't mix too well. At that point all I needed to do was give a swift kick in the door and the whole house came crashing down (Well okay, it still took 8 years to occupy all the Empire, and then 2 hours to appoint lords to every province, but it was worth it).
Moral of the story : Invasion is still OP, but you've now learned a new trick: When the Pope likes a King too much to let you invade him, manufacture one that he wont. And when a country is of foreign faith, it will only remain so until you raise the heir to their throne yourself..