Other than the difference in captain abilities (IE Reverse Shield Polarity, Attack Pattern Alpha), is there any difference in space combat between a Tactical Captain in a Cruiser or a Engineering Captain in a Cruiser? Or a Science for that matter?
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The ship skill determines the bonus, not your base profession, so Cruiser Captain skill improves cruisers you fly. Being a hybrid (an officer in non-recommended ship) is possible to fly successfully, and in some cases works out really well. Just be aware that you will never be able to train the really high level BOff skills to your officers yourself and have them usable.
The highest console on a Cruiser is Engi, and so you will have to get an Engi friend to train a few of the level 4 skills to your Engi officer for you. You can't cross train officer skills (so as a tac officer, you can't train your engi officers with skills yourself), so while you'll be able to give your Tac officers some awesome skills, you'll never have a console high enough on a cruiser to use the level 4 skills on them. That is the downside.
This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you. You probably just saved me quite a bit of frustrated game play time, as I tried to figure this out on my own. xD. Maybe it's just me not reading well enough, but I think Cryptic should clarify this stuff better.