Wanted to help out Termie a bit, since we have made a few changes recently. This is kinda an aggregate of what’s been posted in various pieces, here and there. WiTP just had a few merchie classes (Lg., Med., Sm.), and if >5000 tons could convert to anything. And it only had AK/AKA and AP/APA. This is now indeed gone.
AE has perhaps 50 different merchie classes, ranging from 500’, 18 knot powerhouses, to 150’, 9 knot slugs. Classes range from those built in 1917, to standard designs built during the war. Many of these classes can convert to something, if desired, but conversion is class by individual class, and limited by what really did happen. Conversion logs will be available when the game releases.
For example, a Hog Islander (a large, slow, 1920 xAK cargo ship) may convert to an ammo carrier (AKE), or a general tender (AG), but not much else. A Yusen N (large, fast, modern xAK) may convert to an AKE, AS, AV. The conversion options are given at the bottom of the ship screen, just like now. All conversions have their own specific time requirements ranging from 3 weeks, to 9 months.
For ship types, you have xAK, AK, AKA and xAP, AP, APA.
xAK is a merchant cargo ship, needs a port to unload.
xAP is a passenger liner, needs a port to unload.
AK is a Naval cargo transport, has its own landing craft, may unload over the beach.
AP is a Naval troop transport, has its own landing craft, may unload over the beach.
AKA is a Naval assault cargo transport, unloads faster than AK over the beach.
APA is a Naval assault troop transport, unloads faster than AP over the beach.
Japanese xAKs and xAPs have special capabilities that make them similar to AKs and APs.
Fun, fun, fun.