So light transports came up in chat today, and after talking about them for a while we came to a tentative conclusion that they'd be a lot better if they had small radius shields.
Right now they die super fast to anything - a single picket, a lotus, a couple of glaives (let alone a redback) standing on a hilltop...
This makes them very difficult to get any real value out of in an offensive sense, and I think this makes gunshipfac less useful as a switch.
We'd like them to be slightly tougher, but not too tough, and the eventual suggestion which seemed a fairly interesting mid-point was about 400hp worth of shields in a small radius, on top of their current (300) hp.
The shield would let them take very minor AA fire as they came in and still drop something maybe mostly unharmed. I doubt the transports would make it out if there was any real AA, but they could soak a picket or lotus long enough to drop. It would protect the carried unit until it ran out, and its recharge would make transports easier to use safely and slightly less vulnerable to a pair of swifts casually destroying them in passing.
It would be very vulnerable to EMP, slow weapons, disruptor missiles etc, as shields always are. It would be extra vulnerable to Threshers (AA Flak) as they deal AoE damage and might well still kill transports through the shields in addition to damaging the cargo and probably the shield as well in a single burst, and this is fine - something should still be able to kill light transports very efficiently.
It would improve clusters of light transports all coming in at once, as they would share shields as usual. The shield mechanics combined with low shield HP ratings would hopefully mean that any heavyweight AA missiles would still kill in a single hit. Artemis would certainly always penetrate, as would Hacksaw. Chainsaws would need two missiles each and might be slightly weaker vs large transportballs - I think that would be ok?
If it turns out Threshers don't kill them fast enough, a drop to 350 shield HP would let the third thresher shot penetrate assuming no sharing, and a drop to 300 shields will probably let the thresher's third hit penetrate even if they're sharing.