A one-dimensional Lagrangian code is used to model the interaction of laser light with plasma. The equation of state used is a realistic, piecewise analytic fit, which allows simulations starting from normal density and temperature conditions. The atomic physics required in the code (ionization, radiation rate, and opacities) is interpolated from tables generated using a non-LTE hydrogenic atom model. Radiation transport is treated approximately using a new, numerically efficient recursive algorithm. Results from numerical simulations are compared with recent X-ray measurements from Al, Ti, and Fe plasmas. The code is also used to investigate the X-ray conversion efficiency and the effect of radiation transport on the mass ablation rate and ablation pressure.