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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
06-16-2011, 11:05 AM
I heartily recommend using single cannons forward and turrets aft on a cruiser. Referencing the handy DPS/arc chart provided above, we see that 1 cannon + 1 turret = 312 DPS, comparable to 2 arrays which = 320 DPS. The slight difference in DPS is largely negated by the lesser energy use of turrets, such that cannon + turret uses 18 power, vs the 2 arrays using 20 power.

The primary advantage of cannons is the firing arc. A cannon / turret combo puts all energy weapons into a 180 degree forward arc, neatly overlapping with forward torpedoes.

The main disadvantage is the aft arc. A cannon cruiser must always face it's target to be effective. A beam array cruiser can angle slightly toward or away from a target while maintaining a broadside, but a cannon cruiser loses the use of its single cannons it it angles even slightly away.

Lastly, cannon abilities are one step higher than the comparable beam ability. For example beam array overload is available at ensign, but cannon rapid fire 1 requires a lieutenant. Whether this complicates your ability choices depends on the player.