For those thinking you need an escort for first place, I'm coming in first place pretty much every time I'm doing it, (at time of writing about 6 or 7 times in a row). My inventory is literally cluttered with the purple mark X reward items.
I'm flying the Intrepid Retrofit, and focus mostly on healing my teammates while switching to do as much DPS as I can when no one is in need of healing or when my stuff is on cooldown. I don't think I'm doing anything special, but I do juggle power levels a lot, and use Gravity Well off cooldown on the CE to pull in shards and clutter everything together for AOE.
I've gotten first place multiple times with an Orion Marauder Cruiser fitted with Plasma Beams and the Romulan set, and Advanced Slavers as the fighters.
I've also gotten first place twice in a Galaxy Retrofit fitted with Polarized Disputor cannons and turrets.
Going in with a carrier I can get first place nearly every time if I put my mind to it. I normally don't as I'm so sick of doing it. Thanks for not putting in a timer to let someone know when his character is eligible to get a shard, Cryptic.
Weirdly, the more I play the more I think that escorts have the hardest time getting consistent firsts in the CE event. They get the highest DPS sure, but they struggle with points for other sources and end up in second or third. Instead, I'm finding it easiest to get first in a cruiser these days. Go figure.
I haven't gotten first place multiple times on any character (I think), but the two times I did get it were in my engineer's Kamarag and my tactical's Varanus. And the best part is I hadn't even optimized my builds or tried to get first place, I'm just in it for the shards.
Funny how this is supposed to be difficult.
-> Engineer in a sub-optimal oddy with plasma and torps. have gotten 1st twice in three days. Not really moving around either. Only to bag a couple of thollies that try to make scratches to my pimped out paintjob