There's a very good thread on this lurking somewhere that has a suggested Excelsior cannon build. I've tried it a couple of times, but I'm gonna give it another go at some point. I've been meaning to try it on the Galaxy R as well.
For a cruiser, I use a beam array, single cannon, torpedo, and dual beam banks on the front. On the back I use a turret, torpedo, and beam array. The third item I use is either a toss between mines, torpeados or another beam array.
I would like it if we could equip both cannons and the dual beam banks on the aft.
it sees odd that we cant place single cannons aft, might not be a good idea to do it if we could but i'd like the choice. Would be funny to do turrets up front and single cannons in back on something with a crappy turn rate, that would throw escorts off!
Yeah, I have to agree that's kind of wierd. Dual Cannons or Dual Beam Banks i can understand being front only, since they are supposed to concentrate fire for an Escort. But with a 180 degree arc, two Cannons front and rear should give 360 degree coverage, with NO overlap, making them different from Beam Arrays.
Then again, maybe that's the point. The only energy weapons that can be mounted in the rear are those that overlap in the broadsides. (Beam Arrays and Turrets)
I've also thought Dual Beam Banks to the rear would be interesting, especially since torpedoes have the same arc and can be mounted aft. However, for a foe on your tail you would probably want burst damage, not DPS, unless you were planning on KEEPING him there. And in such a case I can see the Escort just running to the fore or broadsides. Same problem, just in reverse.
Interesting. There is another cruiser on your team running cannon/turrets. Just wondering what accounts for the discrepancy in damage numbers. What it play style? BO setup? better turn rate with Excelsior? the LtCmdr tac station on the excelsior?
I ran a cannon/turret build on a galaxy and now on an Exclesior-R on my VA Engineer 'toon. It's quite fun - it's great for people used to Escorts.
Like the others said, you have to stay in the "sweet spots", hence the Excelsior is your best bet. AND RCS might help a little bit.
I keep 3 cannons fore, 3 turrets aft. You could likely do 4 turrets aft if you don't mind losing the tail spike damage. I have found that keeping a Hargh'Peng up front and Quantums in back allow you to do a pass which lowers the shields, and the follow up with Torpeedo High Yield enables a greater chance of hitting bare hull on the way out, as the torps do not share a cooldown.
Consider DEM for PvP and perhpas BP III or others for PvE.