1. Everyone get the Close Combat Specialist Kit
2. Activate Motion Accelerator and Run past the mobs (ignore the Clues and Captivities part for now)
3. Do gates and Defence turrets (they are your priority)
4. You save TIME (You can now complete the optional)
5. Kill Armek
6. Go back for the clues and captivities
Simpler way so your not back-tracking and actually 'save' time, 2 Sci, with Borg Med Kit (or Tachyion Harmonics) They run ahead first, shield strip all the drones, and then 1~2 Tacts Throw Grenades, if still not dead, the Engineer lays mines. Everything should be dead, and you didn't even have to pause to even 'notice' the roses. Only ones that would slow you down would be Heavys and Elites.
IF your team is good and you have communication (i.e TS, Vent ect.) this is all you need to get past CGE if your in a PUG then optional is not a option becuase no one knows how to communicate ingame anymore or don't want to cuz every one assumes that the next guy is a newb and doesn't know what he is doing. Even the best teams have to make a plan.
On my CGE runs we usually just kill everybody and get the optional with 3 mins to spare. The only time the optional is not doable is when your team doesn't know what to do. Even 5 engs can do it if proper set up.
You don't need either voice-comms over TS or cheesy tactics to get the optional for this mission. I've got links in my signature to a guide that I wrote which has detailed strategies for getting the optionals on all the elite STFs, including Cure.
optional? the idea is to waste the turrets as fast as possible, then have someone run and the rest defend the first two transformers, then the runner goes back to 3 to defend after activating 4. all you need is blasts or pulsewaves, KO them long enough to shut down the gate. but the whole thing requires enough spike damage from everyone on the team for it to be good enough to take the last turret before time runs out.
if a sci has a borg kit, the tachyon harmonic is perfect fit with an eng using orbital strike, it will destroy mob groups easily on elites, a couple of pulse blasts to the back of heavy drones...