DD time again! This one is about Landing craft and invasions, which we have been giving some attention to for Their Finest Hour.
For those of you not familiar with them, landing craft during WWII were basically small, flat-bottomed boats which often had a ramped opening at the front, which could be used to rapidly unload men onto beaches. Large versions, known as “Landing craft, tank” or “LCTs” were able to do the same thing with tanks. Landing craft were vital for the large Allied landings in Africa, Europe, and the Pacific, and shortages of LCTs were one of the major reasons Operation Overlord could not be carried out in 1943.
The easiest difference to notice is that we have added two new units: Landing Craft and Assault Ships. Landing Craft can be thought of as a Transport flotilla with many landing craft attached, while Assault ships represent both LCTs and the larger flat-bottomed transport vessels.
So how are they different from Transports ingame? Well, to answer that I need to explain how we've changed invasions. When a unit on a transport ship attacks a coastal province, it now does not immediately start fighting at full power: Instead it must first disembark. Units disembarking have an attack penalty and defence bonus which is inversely proportional to their disembarkment progress (Called Invasion Progress in the unit tooltip), that is, at the start of an invasion most of the unit is still on the ships where it can neither attack the enemy or be shot at, and as it unloads more and more of its combat power is brought into action. You can see the disembarkment progress on the unit as the red area of their icon decreases.
This unloading process, coupled with a new message to alert you to invasions, gives the defender time to start moving in more forces before their garrison can be overrun.
The advantage of LCs and Assault Ships is that they can unload troops faster and offer them more protection while doing so. We also have the new Invasion Tactics and Landing Craft Support techs which increase Invasion Speed and Defence respectively.
But that's not all! Your Invasion Defence value also decreases your Amphibious Assault penalty, and Assault Ships have a further bonus to this for Armoured units, enabling the use of tanks in invasions without such a crippling penalty.
Next week: Lend lease + Strategic warfare.