I personally do not agree with the OP's treatment of Tactical BOs. My teams always consist of two tacticals, two engineers, and one science (my captain is one of those positions but which one is depends on the character I'm playing) and I've faired pretty well when playing on Normal during ground combat. That said, I'd like to add some stuff that could be helpful.
Focus fire is a god-send. No, I'm not speaking of the power or ability or whatever you want to call it, I'm speaking of getting all your bridge officers to focus their attacks on the same target you are. It's quite easily done as the game starts you off with that command tied to the y button on your keyboard. An enemy that's being attacked by five friendlies goes down faster than an enemy being attacked by only one.
Stun Pistols and any weapon that has an attack that hits multiple targets (such as Dual Pistols and Split Beams) should not be dismissed out of hand either. The stun attack on your Stun Pistols will typically hold an enemy for a time ranging from half the attack's cool-down to the entire cool down. This effectively lowers the number of enemies firing at you by one for it's duration, increasing survivability. The multi-target weapons can get you a little extra damage to enemies that you're not targeting when they cluster up. If you keep yourself moving around the enemies often you'll have the back of at least one of these other enemies to you.
Melee weapons are also useful, but only when you're fighting enemies that are using melee attacks as well. Melee attacks ignore shields so they actually do more damage to enemies when close up. I personally have taken out half an enemy's HP in as little as three seconds when using Melee weapons. The key to using them is using combos. There's a guide on the forums in the Academy board that goes into further detail on using melee attacks. The problem with Melee attacks is you have to be close in to use them, and unless the enemy also uses melee attacks they have this nasty habit of running away from you at a pace you can't keep up with when you stop to take a swing at them. But if the enemy is getting up close and personal with you, bat'leth in hand, then they're in the perfect position to take advantage of the melee attack's full potential.
Another additional feature is auto-firing. This is great to use as you'll be attacking constantly while your hands are free to press the buttons that activate your powers and abilities, allowing for seamless transition from an attack to an ability. Start placing down a turret as soon as the animation for your attack is finished and that stun pistol has the enemy in a hold. Throw a Photon Grenade as soon as the enemy lands on his back from the knock-back of your rifle's Sniper Shot. Some of you may be going "but there is no auto-fire in ground combat!" That's not true, there is. You just have to turn it on manually unlike with your ship. Just go to your controls and change your auto-fire setting from None to something like Toggle or Toggle Cancel on Change or even Maintain. Personally I prefer Cancel on Change because you don't automatically fire at any old target when the one you're currently on drops dead, allowing you to choose your targets more effectively.
I'm getting sick and tired of people whining about ground combat. RAAAAWWWWRRRRR!
Hey me too! But you actually did something about it, so that's cool.
Originally Posted by AzureAlliance
Don't play ground on Advanced or Elite.
Devs who restrict the numbers of BOs in missions shall be booed loudly should they dare to make themselves known here.
You can play ground on Elite and breeze through it with four Engineer BOs that have turrets... Heck, I do it on an Eng captain with 3 BOs with 3 turrets, and another who has a turret and a support drone.
You should also note that chroniton mines are great for damage and for slowing enemies down. I've also found that Fabrication Specialist is great, for the Seeker Drone.
Also, Engineer captains have their own Reroute Power to Shields power, that they should be activating constantly. 12 seconds of shield healing and resistance buffs!
I like the missions with fewer BOs. It's fun, and they scale the mission back to make up for it.
Great guide so far, hopefully it'll pull more people into ground, and Ground PvP... I know, against the rules, but I had to say it.
This is the OP I've been hoping to find for weeks. Thanks! I especially appreciate the advice on which sci expose abilities to pick, since I haven't seen a whole lot of people give details on the all sci inferno style team.
I wonder about your advice on using turrets against Breen and Remans though; do you mean that you're in for trouble with that setup on higher difficulties? Because on normal, that team rips through anything I've ever gone up against, and it's especially hard on the Breen, which tend to just stand way back and get cut to pieces by 12 turret fire. Swordmasters are the only ones I've seen charge hard enough to even make it to the turrets before dying. And I don't even bother running from plasma fires anymore, since with decent shields and armor it does nothing more than add a nice green glow.
Borg are even easier with the Redwood setup, since they're so slow and are dumb enought to walk right into the phaser nest. It's the lazy man's easy mode, but I haven't found anything yet that has the tactics to break it.
I think your advice about Tac BOs is right on, although the biggest problem I've had with them is crowd control rather than lack of damage. They shoot things up just fine most of the time, but when leading a tac team I get instant, unshakeable aggro from all mobs in a group as soon as the shooting starts, even if I never attack or get line of sight to begin with.
If you're masochistic enough to run an all tac team, I have had some success with a 4x tac team trained in Photon Grenade I/II/III and Stun Grenade I. With the ridiculous amount of grenade spam, they tend to keep mobs off their feet and immobile for most of the fight. And if nothing else, at least you feel like they're doing something when they make so much noise.
Some of you may be going "but there is no auto-fire in ground combat!" That's not true, there is. You just have to turn it on manually unlike with your ship. Just go to your controls and change your auto-fire setting from None to something like Toggle or Toggle Cancel on Change or even Maintain. Personally I prefer Cancel on Change because you don't automatically fire at any old target when the one you're currently on drops dead, allowing you to choose your targets more effectively.
I may be doing something wrong, but I've never gotten anything other than "Maintain" to work on the ground. In space I prefer "Toggle, non-combat cancels," since it will auto fire on the next mob in a spaceball, but lets me set up the next fight without a chance of auto fire starting things before I'm ready. On the ground though, when I pick that same setting, I can't attack or fire at all, with anything. When I use Maintain, it works as expected, but then I have to manually toggle the auto-fire on my weapons to avoid opening fire before I'm ready, if I get surprised by a mob wandering too close.
So this thread doesn't solve anything. Did you really need to make a full page of posts to say, "Play on normal?"
How about, "If you're fighting klingon's on advanced or higher, bring two healers with three heal abilities, carry hypos, and make sure your engineers have shield recharge. Focus your team's fire on the dahar masters, swordmasters, munitions officers, targ handlers, bat'leth/met'leth soldiers in that order."
Also, I have a problem with your view of tac officers. They are definitely not useless, especially in the late game when you can equip them with smoke grenades, target optics, suppressing fire, and focus fire. I don't give mine any melee abilities, but that's only because they don't like to back out of the enemy group afterward.
AzureAlliance, your guide is a great primer for those that want something That Just Works. There are many builds out there that would be just as affective, depending on the player, and I think Tac BOs are not useless, but then we're just getting into opinions, playstyle, YMMV, etc. This is a great article and I'll be sharing it with people who need Ground help! Frankly, I think your advice will be fine even up through Advance play (but then again, you're trying to teach people to get through ground quickly, I get that).
I like SpikeGuyver's comments about getting your team to focus fire. (AzureAlliance you might want to clarify that pressing Y is the default to do this.) and about Stun Weapons. I always make sure one of my away team has a stun weapon. I usually assign this to the Medic (seems fitting), make it AoE, and try to make it a Phaser (since they have an innate stun buff). It's great to focus on a charging Sword Master and watch him stutter along as he keeps getting stunned.
If I may be so bold, here is my list of favorite Ground Traits. I recommend a player that doesn't get these type of BOs through ranking to spend the cash on the Exchange to get ones with as many of these traits as possible. I also recommend getting at least rare, preferably very rare, BOs so that they will have more Superior versions of the traits. It makes a difference. So, in alphabetical order:
Empathic Increases Team Health Regeneration. Race: Betazoid
Limited Telepathy Improved Stealth Site and Expose Duration. Races: Trill, Vulcan
Warrior Increases Physical and Energy Damange and Critical Severity. Race: Klingon
Obviously there are other ground traits (http://www.stowiki.org/Trait_chart) that are useful, but to me a perfect Away Team has members that each have at least one Superior (preferably more) versions of the above.
AzureAlliance, will you be adding more info on suggestions for weapons, armor, and shield types?
Warrior Increases Physical and Energy Damange and Critical Severity. Race: Klingon
I've never been totally clear on how some of these relate, but I'm fairly sure that Telepathic basically equals "Superior Limited Telepathy" and Warrior is what would otherwise be called "Superior Soldier" (the description on the captain species choice screen refers to Warrior as "an upgrade of Soldier" at any rate; and the stats seem in line with that). I've seen superior versions of Lucky (along with superior versions of other generic traits like Peak Health), but I'm not sure about the rest. I don't know whether Teamwork or Empathetic have superior versions, for instance; or if any of the similar race-bound traits have more than one "level" for that matter. Have you seen superior versions of the race-locked traits, or is it only the "alien" traits that come in superior form?
Another issue is how the team traits stack, if at all. The "efficient" trait doesn't appear to stack if you have both a Borg and Saurian BO on your ship, for instance. And I'm guessing that Teamwork doesn't stack with either other BOs or a captain having the same trait. If your captain doesn't have it, then I assume it's at least a team exploit buff for your other BOs, though there have been, and probably still are, lots of bugs with the trait system overall; I think it's still an open question whether most of these traits actually do what they say on the tin or add nothing at all.
Also, you left out a couple nice traits like Acute Senses and Covert. Those each add a +15% self exploit damage passive in superior form. Aggressive adds a self all damage buff (7.5% for superior). And Creative adds a 5% healing power buff, so it seems like a good one to have on a sci BO set up as a medic.