I would suggest an alternate build. On any ground mission, you have only one priority – survive ground combat. Destroy your enemy as quickly as possible through superior fire power. To do this, assemble a landing party made up of 4 Engineers equipped with the following skills:
Mine Barrier I
Phaser Turret Fabrication I
Phaser Turret Fabrication II
Phaser Turret Fabrication III
1. Set a rally point up for your BOs right outside the weapons range of your enemy (roughly 30 m)
2. Set up Mine Barriers.
3. Back up & set up Phaser Turrets. (Keep doing this for every set of turrets you have access to).
4. Back up & set a final rally point where you & your BOs will fight from.
You have now created a cushion of weapons between your landing party & the enemy. Let the battle begin. Walk up close enough to shoot one of the enemy. Run back to your BOs. The enemy will advance on your position. Once they reach the mines, they will be stunned. They’ll also begin taking damage from all the turrets firing on them (by VA level that’s a total of 12). Most enemies strategy is to attack your turrets first (especially the Borg). With your landing party not taking any fire (or very little), you’ll be able to defeat the enemy in a quick & timely manner.
Now some enemies (like Klingons) will charge your position. No problem. If any turrets are destroyed, your BOs will just set up new ones. In effect, your landing party will be equipped to always maintain a high rate of fire power and survive any attack.
Species & Traits of Your Landing Party
Choosing the right Species for a landing party is important. I prefer Klingons because their traits – Honorable (+ damage resistance & + threat generation) & Warrior (+ melee, crit, & energy weapon damage), make them superior soldiers. As far as general traits go, I suggest Stubborn and/or Sure Footed because they both provide a resistance to Knockback, Root, & Hold. A soldier who can’t stand or move, can’t fight.
Landing Party Weapons
As far as weapons go, I choose them based on rank. At the lower ranks, I prefer long range rifles (Sniper & High density beam). Fighting the enemy at a distance decreases damage to your landing party. By VA rank I use high DPS weapons (compression Pistols & Pulse Wave Assault) because you can sustain more damage with your increased abilities & equipment.
Landing Party Equipment
The most important thing to remember is that while your BOs are a lower rank than you, they can use all the armor, shields, & weapons available at your current rank. In ground combat, enemies will be targeting you because you will be taking aggro. Equip your Landing Party with level appropriate gear so they have the best chance of defending YOU.
Armor – use [Reg]. The faster you can regenerate the longer you can fight.
Shields – Energy Dampening [HP] [RegHP] [RegSH]. I never melee so I protect against energy & kinetic damage only. + Hit Points, and regeneration of Hit Points & shields are additional bonuses that assist keeping you alive.
This info is by no means the only stratagy that works. I have used it with great success however, even playing in Elite mode.
tac: has photon grenade for distraction (knockback) and some self-damage buffs/target damage debuffs
eng1: shield recharge, mine barrier (important) and a turret
eng2: shield generator and medical generator
sci: 2x tricorders, nanite health monitor and some utility spell like tachyon harmonic
traits: hp and damage/psi/confuse resists are nice, sci should not have traits which raise her aggro, tac should not have traits which lower her aggro
weapons: 2x expose, 2x exploit, use many weapons with knock-back effects (knock-back = no incoming damage)
so you have:
3x PhaserTurrets + 3x Mortars
3x Shieldheals + 3x HP-Heals
Some slowing (mines) or control (weapon Malfunction) abilities.
so i use on my away-team Blast Assault/shotgun + Splitbeam rifles/sniper rifles....Expose&Exploit-combo (and also some knockback).
Set a rally point. set up your fortress. let your sci-guy root an enemy in the middle of the enemy group. your Mortars have range of max. 39,9 meters...so the mortars will kill, or do so much dmg that enemy is close to death, that the rest of the group, that charges in your direction, is killed by the turrets and the firepower of your away-team. is easy go and relaxing...
On FED: If i can, i use ALL Betazoid (yeah!! 4 black eyed chicks with huge weapons ), because they have the "Telepathic" Trait. More Expose, longer Duration of Expose.
On KDF: I use, if i can, Nausicans with the "Pirate"-trait, Orions with the confuse ability or Klingons.
Armor: Poly Alloy with HP Bonus.
Shield: Cap-Bonus, Ene-Bonus, KBk-bonus...
just my 2 cents..
Post-S4 fabrication BOffs are almost useless at low levels. Combat is over before they get a turret or generator down. At about mid-Commander that starts changing as the enemies begin living through the first barrage of fire.
I just leveled a Fed Engineer (currently at RA5) and run with an Eng Boff, a Tac BOff and two Sci BOffs (abilities are not listed in level order; all BOffs are fully promoted).
Eng BOff 1: Shield Recharge, Quick Fix (ranged weapon damage buff), Equipment Diagnostics (damage resistance buff), Support Drone
Tac BOff 1: Battle Strategies, Suppressing Fire, Fire On My Mark, Target Optics
Sci BOff 1: Dedicated healer (Vascular Regenerator, Medical Tricorder, Nanite Health Monitor). I think this one also has Sonic Pulse, too. Not sure.
All BOffs are equipped with highest Mk available gear:
1xEnergy Dampening Armor (switch to Polyalloy if fighting melee-oriented bad guys)
1xRicossa Tribble for +1.5% damage and damage resistance (sub. 20xBlood Wine for Klingons)
Sizes of consumables increased as I leveled, so now (at RA5) they have large hypos/cells. No shield charges as now they all have Remodulators. My RA5 Engineer's gear is similar to my BOffs (armor, shield, consumables are mostly the same). I'll vary my weapons depending on the situation but usually run with a Sniper Rifle and a Pulsewave Assault. My Eng usually has the Support Tech kit equipped for Quick Fix, Equipment Diag. and Shield Generator. I have 1 skill point in most ground combat skills, at least 5 points in Tactical Team and Science Team Leader, and 7 points in Engineering Team Leader.
Combat post-S4 is pretty much faceroll mode up to mid-Commander, and easy mode from then on (with the occasional 'wait...why am I dead?'). The Pulsewave Assault works brilliantly as it does more damage close in. Thanks to Cryptic's econo-AI programming, virtually all enemies attended the Don't-Fire-Til-You-Smell-Their-Breath school of ranged combat and will close distance to knife-fighting range - to shoot you (where, of course, the Pulsewave does the most damage). Now at RA5 I occasionally have a BOff drop in combat before all the bad guys are down. Most of the time, however, the Pulsewave Brigade mows everyone down in short order.
Before Season 4 I had the fabrication Engineer away team, I matched their weapons and team roles to their passives and everyone had different Expose weapons so I could Exploit. Now it doesn't matter. Unless I use the secondary attack on the Sniper Rifle or CRM-200 in the opening seconds of a fight I generally don't get to use it again - I'll target someone and fire but before it goes off the target drops. Switch targets and repeat. Enemy Commanders are hard targets but they drop pretty quick under focus fire. They sometimes use smoke grenades to break LOS but with the Pulsewave I just switch to shooter mode and start blasting into the cloud (AoE cylinder and cone ftw).
Even still I don't care for ground combat. It's so unlike Trek it's laughable. But since it's a good portion of the game I might as well get through it as effectively as possible. The above setup does that very well.
I know everyone has there own favorite but I have found all engineers (4) with phaser turrets 2 of them with 1 version of shield generator 1 of them with quick fix, all of them with mine barricade to be impossible for pve to kill.
I may take a beating but as a sci I can tank the onslaught or if not my away team can come back and bring me back With this setup I get within 15K of enemy setup all turrets etc then use my snipe rifle and draw them in to there quick death. I also spread the turrets out a little by having the team follow me so nothing is hidden behind each other.
I also found having one of them having a cover shield to be a PITA as they block the turrets.
All in all I love my setup and use it for all my toons.
I've been playing on elite and this works for me:
2x Engineer with 2x recharge shields, reroute power to shields, support drone
2x Science with 2x medical tricorder, vasuclar regen, nanite health monitor
I'm not sure why anyone would waste a Boff skill on "recharge shields" or "reroute power to shields" when you can simply (and more effectively) load them up with Large Shield Charge devices (100% recharge).
I generally load my Boffs up with 20 Large Shield Charge, 20 Large Power Cell, a good Tribble, and an Ophidian Cane. I used to give them Large Hypos, but found them consuming them one after the other (like they will do with food) even when we're not in battle.
I carry an Ophidian Cane, Large Hypos, and two different Hortas (after using a crossfire tribble I replace it with a 2nd Horta)
As an Engineer, I go in and lay down my turrets.
Currently my Boff team consists of:
2 other Engineers (providing the team with plenty of turrets and mines)
2 Tactical officers...the fighters to take the fight to the opponents.
I typically avoid repair skills (so I find a Science officer a waste) and prefer to battle offensively...if they're dead, they can't hurt you!!!
I have a hard enough time managing 2 other Engineers (clicking on all their turret icons), so I would find it a bit of a chore managing 3 or 4?!? And I need to get into the fight so I can fire blasts from each of my powerful rifles.
And if one of my Boffs should get knocked out, I rush to revive them, since the other Boffs won't until the fight is over
I'm going to check my screen layout tonight, but since the new season update I've had problems clicking on some of my Boff abilities (unable to execute and seeing a flashing info box), hopefully it has something to do with a conflict in my HUD, but I didn't have a problem before the update.
Question...if you make the Boff ability Green what does that mean? I figure that Red will stop the Boff from using it...