From: Winnipeg, MB
My impression has always been, without any real proof, that it's better to use APs and AKs, which are purpose built military transports, than it is to use the civilian conversions xAK or xAP when it comes to unloading times for amphib operations.
But I could totally be wrong.
Of course they are better, but they are a scarce, thereby strategic asset. Moreover, most of these AKs/ APs will upgrade to AKA/ APA later on (starting in early Q3).
So it is more a matter of how many of those APs/ AKs you are willing to risk in an early invasion; you lose too many and your invasion potential will suffer until later.
small xAPs/ xAKs in the other hand are rather abundant, and by mid 42 even redundant, as they are too short ranged, too small/ slow for oceanic trade.
I will try to avoid using xAPs or xAKs in the 1st invasion wave, but in my games they will take care of 2nd line troops
In addition, the scarcity and need to save as many as possible for the upgrade in '43 means not risking them in secondary operations during '42.
I execute most amphibious ops in '42 with civilian transports.
Only the crucial ops get the military transports.
+1 ... and with lots of embedded bombardment ships to soak up/suppress coastal artillery fire ... and ASW protection .... and air cover .... and SCTFs to intercept raiders. Awww, to heck with it - just use xAKs/xAPs you can afford to lose!
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth