I'm trying a drastically different approach to space combat for my commander rank. For all of Lieutenant Commander I was a a pure plasma escort. Now with my Heavy Escort I'm experimenting with 3 tetryon beam arrays and a pair of photon launches up front and in the back. I have torpedo High Yield I, II, and III and already I am very happy with being able to pop a wave of photonic pain in both directions. However, I credit much of my torpedo's success to my consoles.
I have twin photon detonation assemblies which made my high yield photon barrages deal out so much pain my head spun when I watched a battleship go from 70'ish hull to glowing dust cloud with a single High Yield III. However, my third tactical slot currently has a Tetryon Pulse Generator. I believe that in the end it doesn't matter how powerful my photon torpedos are, I need them to be able to hit bare hull for them to hurt. And as much as I'd love to put in a third detonation assembly to see just how gloriously painful they can be, my question for now is should I actually drop a detonation assembly in favor for a second pulse generator for my tetryon beams?
I'm still getting used to this new tactic of using a specialized shield destroying weapon followed up by torpedo spams but since I don't have an even number of tactical slots I can't split the equipment 50/50. I don't have enough experience with this tactic to know which system should get the most enhancement. Does anyone have any input?
Well - if you are using your energy weapons just to bring a shield down, why not try tetry single cannons? You should be able to dps down a shield, even in a turn ( I believe single cannons are 180 degree) and hit a bit harder than a beam array.
If you are set on beam arrays, try some DBBs forward. It will get the shields down, fire your forward tubes, start your turn, using the other beam arrays to keep the shield down, while you get the rear tubes lined up.
First of all, as an escort, you can use dual (heavy) cannons. I would suggest replacing at least one of your forward beam arrays with either dual or dual heavy cannons.
Second, since your goal should be to keep your oponent in front of you whenever possible, you should consider changing your forward beam(s) to dual beam array instead. This will allow you to double your forward firepower (which is the whole point of escorts).
That being said, Heavy escorts have the slowest turn rate of the escorts (not counting the NX), so having regular beam arrays is fine if you're having trouble keeping your enemy in front of you.
Also, tetryon beams are alright, though as a personal preference I like phasers. I'll leave it at that.
As to your consoles, yes. Your torpedos are going to hit pretty hard anyway, but they're fairly useless while the enemy's shields are up. Also, if you're using HYIII, consider switching to quantums, since they have the most damage per hit.
Yeah, for awhile I was using dual heavy plasma cannons up front on my LtCmdr Escort ship, however between a higher game difficulty [elite space] and even after I dropped back down to normal difficulty my forward shield just got too challenging to keep charged long enough to keep my dual cannons firing enough to make a significant difference. If this works I might go ahead and put a cannon back on but I'm experimenting with all beam arrays again because I like that "constant pressure" they can put on an enemy while I'm maneuvering defensively.
The DBB is a good choice if you use the Beam Overload Skill. It can drop a shield on a good crit.
And cannons are an escorts weapon of choice but the best damage from them are at less than 4 KM from the target.
I have used a DBB and cannons to great effect paired together to take out a shield quickly and then use torps to finish off the target.
I have found that the torp consoles are not as good as an energy type (phaser, disrupter, etc) boosting console due to, as you have noted, the fact you need a down shield for the torpedo's best effect. I don't use them at all