Hey everyone I have been saving up for the Advanced Odyssey Opperations Cruiser for tanking but saw the Long Range Science Vessel Refit and was wondering if it would work for tanking since I have my old Odyssey mostly science bridge officers. I am thinking it might work since science ships have better shielding and this definitely has a better turn rate than the Odyssey. So please post what you think.
Note I am an Enginering officer with shields skills maxed out and use a field generator for shielding.
It depends on how you want to tank, although both Science Vessels and Cruisers in general can pull it off to some extent.
If you're planning on tanking in STFs or other multi-player content, make sure you have as many points as you can spare in the Threat Control skill to draw fire, and preferably some form of AoE attack to inflict damage on as many targets as possible such as Beam: Fire at Will or Torpedo: Spread.
If you want to tank on your shields, as seems to be your preference, key abilities are Emergency Power to Shields (EPtS), Transfer Shield Strength (TSS), Tactical Team, Science Team, and as an emergency power Reverse Shield Polarity (RSP). Most of the key abilities are Engineering powers, which you won't have a lot of in most Science Vessels. In the LRSV-R, you'll only have 2 engineering powers, limiting yourself EPtS 1 and 2, or EPtS 1 and RSP 1. The DSSV could have 2 copies of EPtS 1 and RSP 1. You'll have a lot of science abilities available to you, so you'll probably want to have 2 copies of TSS 2 or 3 and possibly 2 copies of Science Team 2 or 3, and definitely at least 1 Tactical Team (preferably just rank 1), although Tactical Team and Science Team will interfere with each other. You will also want to have 3 high-grade Shield Distribution Duty Officers to turn your Brace For Impact power into a makeshift shield heal.
Engineering powers is why a Science Vessel, while having more base shield HP, might end up the weaker target compared to Cruisers. A Science Vessel gains 30% bonus shield HP over a standard Cruiser, 15% over the Odyssey. However, the Odyssey in a traditional cruiser setup has access to 2 copies of EPtS 3, which offers much more shield damage reduction and shield power (which further reduces damage to shields as well as improves regeneration) over the weaker versions a Science Vessel is limited to. This can be somewhat countered by the higher levels of TSS a Science Vessel gains, but TSS doesn't have 100% uptime like EPtS does.
If you want to tank on your hull, you'll want to have Auxiliary Power to Structural Integrity Field (A2SIF), Engineering Team, and Hazard Emitters, and possibly Emergency Power to Auxiliary (EPtA) to strengthen A2SIF and Hazard Emitters. Again, many of the key abilities are Engineering powers, and Science Vessels lack a large number of these, an LSRV-R would likely be limited to Engineering Team 1 and A2SIF 1, although the Science Vessel's improved Aux power will help overcome the need for EPtA. You'll definitely want 2 copies of Hazard Emitters as a hull resistance/hull heal ability in your Science powers.
Of course, hull tanking on a Science Vessel is generally not a good idea due to the reduced hull HP, combined with a lack of engineering console slots to use for armor (which is fairly important especially against kinetic damage, since your shields won't be absorbing the majority of that type of damage in this style of tanking). They also, once again, lack the higher level Engineering powers, especially A2SIF.
The other major downside to tanking in a Science Vessel is the lack of weapons. If you are playing with other players in STFs, etc., you will just about always be outgunned, and with most of your high-level science abilities keyed for defense rather than damage or crowd control, you will likely lose the ability to hold attention via Threat Control, making your "tank" generally less useful because your high levels of defense aren't being utilized in absorbing enemy fire.
Turn rate isn't quite as important to a tank as it is for someone a bit more offensively minded, although it is important to be able to place as much fire on your target as possible to keep their attention, which is why most tanks generally invest in Beam Arrays over any other weapon, and use Beam: Fire at Will to grab agro from as many targets as possible.