they are great for cruisers in PVE in my opinion. on my PVE tank cruiser i use 2 single cannons 2 quantum torps front, and 4 turrets back.
i think for PVP beams are better on cruisers that have under 8 turnrate.
i recently came across a thread here, that pointed out a way for escorts to utilize single cannons very successfull even in PVP.
an escort that can only reach 30 turnrate with skills, may utilize single cannons very well even in pvp. You get a high rate of dmg on target.
But you sacrifice burst. since burst with a sci or engi on an escort isn't that potent anyway, i could see my sci escort using single cannons in future...
my tactical in his defiant is better off with dual cannons, since i do hit and runs mainly. So burst is king in that regard.
my engi on my oddy starcruiser usees them from the beginning
rule of thumb the more agile your ship the less usefull single cannons become, because you can have a high rate of damage on target even with dual cannons in a ship with high turnrate (above 45?/sec)
But many have problems manuvering such agile ships, in that case single cannons become valid again.
In my opinion an escort that is mainly broadsiding with beams is a failboat, nothing more. completely ignoring the ability to use DC and having a high turnrate to bring them on target.
Escorts with single cannons can be very powerful if you know how to use them.
I can second that. It makes it much easier to keep moving and still attack. It's more aimed at prolonged fights than single hit-and-run spikes though. But for me, it works.
My setup is 2 phased tetryon cannons, 3 phased tetryon turrets and 2 quantum torpedo launchers. When I turn towards my target, I activate rapid fire and high yield, and by the time I've turned enough to get my target in the torpedo arc, my cannons have taken a big bite out of the shielding. Hitting hull has become a lot easier now.
If ARC becomes mandatory, I'll never buy ZEN again.
I'm trying my first Advanced difficulty playthrough with a Sci captain, and was beginning to encounter issues in the mid-Commander levels... engagements against multiple opponents were killing me as my DPS was too low to finish one opponent before the other wore me down. I've switched to a more Escort-like loadout (fore cannon, beam and torp, aft all turrets) and it's serving me well so far. Sci ships can't mount dual cannons but are agile enough to keep the cannon arc on most foes (and need to keep fore arc on them for most Sci abilities). A DBB in the front slot would give slightly better arc but as Cannon: Rapid Fire boosts the turrets as well and Tac BOFF abilities are limited...
I use them, my KDF ship has the dual beam bank and dual heavy cannons. Replaced the stock regular dual cannons for heavy. For that added damage. I know I can really chew up ships if I can get a lock on them long enough. The other slots is regular beam banks for side and rear attacks. Other than my torpedo launchers. I like the dual cannons since the heavies don't have the firing arc. So even then I can get a few shots in from the cannons.
I've used single cannons/turrets on both the Excelsior and Galor before. The Galor actually turns well enough to use DBBs though, so I use them as often as not, although I may switch back as CRF buffs all weapons, where as FAW only the DBBs. I'm gonna have to run some maths on this I guess. I think those two ships suit it best because they can double TT1 up with a pair of purple conn officers, then run CRF 1 & 2.
Never tried it on an escort though, I can see it being a good halfway house between beamscort and the regular kind, but losing the massive alpha damage would be a shame. I also find with proper timing you can mitigate the forward shield damage by overshooting or turning or pulling up in between tac team etc.
I will run them on my Excelsior from time to time, but I've honestly tried the cannon cruiser builds and just do not really find them that much more effective that a 3 beam/1 torp set-up, especially given the miniscule damage cannons do at distance. Often times in a cruiser you are not up close and personal with the enemy so you lose a good bit of DPS over that range if you aren't right up in their deflector dish blasting away with cannons.
It is workable on an assault cruiser though with Aux to dampeners, evasive, and other turn boosting powers. It was actually kind of fun on my Noble to run 4x Single cannons up front with 3 turrets and torp aft. Again when flying a cruiser through I rarely found myself close enough to the enemy to maximize cannon damage so I always go back to beams. I find I do better DPS on my Excelsior running 3X Dual Beam Banks with Beam Overload III then if I run the cannon setup.
Now on an escort single cannons can be ridiculous, especially if you have the DOFFs to recharge your cannon abilities faster. I love running the Mirror event with my escorts because it's just a shooting gallery in there. Shields melt in seconds and Mirror Cruisers go boom shortly there after. On most of my escorts I will run 2 single cannons fore for a constant stream, along with 2 DHCs for big burst damage when I am coming in head on or when I get behind a target. Two other ways you can go are 3X Single cannons with a Torpedo Launcher or Dual Beam Bank. If you do this you can take advantage of that annoying ensign tac slot with a Beam Overload I or High Yield I and get a nice DPS burst after their shields melt.