is it worth it for the extra trade income, ships, and cannons?
It depends. That's really all I can say about it. You get access to the best ports with no infrastructure required, early rifles which are devestating to ashigaru troop morale, and only things like O Ataka Bune will stand up to cannon fire. Giving you full control of the seas for the most part. The downside is your diplomatic relations are shot from the getgo, which isn't so much a problem after the realm divide, and you have to deal with province rebellions during the first several turns after you convert due to the Shinto-Buddhist populations. It will also slow any land advance you attempt since the rest of the country is Shinto, meaning you have to lag behind for garrisoning threatened territories, build more castles, and your missionaries spend more time converting the populace than they do inciting riots.
All-in-all its a give and take situation. I haven't tested it much yet, but I'm fairly certain the "same religion" bonus is much greater than if you were simply Shinto, meaning you can have closer ties to other Christian daimyos. Best advice is go Christian if you have a solid defensive army, a good choke point and want to build up economically before expanding. Shimazu and Chosobake are natural choices since Shimazu is on an island with only one access point, and Chosobake is on an island with NO access points. Date are pretty good with it too. The inland clans are a bit more dicey, but the improved navies will give you better access to the highly, unbelievably lucrative foreign trade routes, something of a disadvantage all inland armies share.
I have tried it with Date on Hard diff. doable, but imo not worth it. Every province you have/capture, you first have to convert to christianity, as it creates huge unrest. the fact that christian building spread it to neighbouring provinces helps a bit, but not much.
Matchlock units aren't that great, mostly because of their inferior range.
Cannons on ships own, but I haven't found you ever needed a strong ship stack.
So perphaps do it once, for the achievement.
it's very much worth it if the situation can be done right
as for the diplo penalty all you have to do to offset it is research the tea ceremony, and you can even invest into some honor points for your damyo, both of which will offset the diplo hit. besides, with the extra income you can buy your friends for lucrative trade deals
either of the island clans can easily convert religion. town population will quickly convert also, so the rebellions aren't really much of a big deal, especially when you properly position the nanban quarter port and missions/chapels/churches. also you can recruit priests which help population conversion. all in all i've yet to deal with shinto rebels and i think i've converted in all games except a Date clan game
tokugawa was interesting only because it's great fortifiable river position (oda + imagawa provinces) and it's diplo bonus.
as for matchlock units and cannons, they are very powerful and just those alone is worth the little extra work you need to convert. and of course the trade ships are simply amazing. all you need is one and you shouldn't have problems beating any other fleet as long as you keep the wind advantage
Converting to christianity also boost a lot to your chi tech. Church boost a lot more than temples. Just check the ingame manual. Getting the achivment for christianity is easy.Just convert right before you win, you can stay shinto until then.
oh yeah completely forgot about the chi bonus
it's 5% bonus per christian building level. pretty much the reason why converted economy is so strong
On a side note, I always find it surprising how objective people can be in making their decisions in games. Personally, I never convert to Christianity just because I'm a staunch atheist. Yeah, I know it's a game and all, but I've come to allow my personal ideologies to actually play the dominant role in how I play my games instead of the actual gameplay differences they make. Like when I play RPGs, I would always do my best to force the role of healer on the hottest looking chick or that time when Yuffie and Cait Sith f***ed me over and i never ever used them or all those times I ended up killing Magus for being a douche even if it meant not recruiting him.
Now instead of calling idiots "idiots", we give them the benefit of the doubt and call them intentional entertainers. -(TVEW on Trolling)
^ Hey, leave Magus alone, he's just misunderstood!
PSN ~ Same as my name. FFXIV Bodhum server.
I find it somewhat amusing that the atheist presumably has no problem with his country being Shinto-Buddhist and building ( or at least utilizing ones built in conquered provinces) Buddhist temples and recruiting monks, but converting to Christianity is totally out of bounds.
Don't get me wrong Christians in Japan were not "good" people. but seriously its just a game. So the decision boils down to the tradeoff between some civil unrest in newly conquered provinces and a diplomacy hit for increased trade income, cheaper matchlock ashigaru, and nearly unstoppable naval vessels. It has nothing to do with personal beliefs just mechanics.
I'm also a staunch atheist. Its more amusing for people I play with if I don't switch to Christianity because every time I end up in a province by owned by Christians I always start yelling "goddamn Christians!" due to being stuck there converting them to Buddhism.
I should note that Buddhism is actually the one religion where you can be both an atheist and a Buddhist. Sam Harris is one. So there's really no double standard there. It is just a game though, which is why I'll occasionally switch over.