VA have about 12 boffs now, do i really need that many? with only 4 of them on the bridge and 3 on away team 12 seems excessive. The have differing skills but at this point i have a certain set i use and the other are just there.
Depends on how much versatility you want, mainly. I have two tactical officers set up with rapid fire and high yeild, and two set up with scatter volley and spread. I also have alternate science officers so I can bring more healing for myself, polarize hull for tractor beams, or repulsors for blockade run or azure rescue.
I've also gone so far as to have a different away team for Borg than other enemies, as well as options to shift in a second medic (used to be really helpful on higher difficulties against Breen and Devidians, but power creep has overtaken that problem so he doesn't see much mileage anymore) on either team.
I would say at least 3 of each for the purpose of being sure you can cover all slots on your ships.
Say for example you have the following ships:
Fleet Heavy Escort Carrier 3 Tac, 1 Eng and 1 Sci.
Breen Chel Grett Warship 2 Tac, 1 Eng, 1 Sci and 1 Universal
Star Cruiser 1 Tac, 2 Eng and 2 2sci
Mirror Universe Reconnaissance Science Vessel 2 Tac, 1 Eng and 2 Sci
Mirror Universe Patrol Escort 2 Tac, 2 Eng and 1 Sci
Odyssey Star Cruise 1 Tac, 1 Eng, 2 Sci 1 Universal
Caitian Atrox Carrier 1 Tac, 1 Eng and 2 Sci
Some of them can't use Cannons So you don't want Tactical BOffs with Cannon related skills on those ships But Escorts Excell when using the Dual Heavy Cannons so you will want Your BOffs to have More Cannon skills than beam skills on those ships. Then you have to consider what role you will be playing in that ship. If you are playing the tank you will want Eng and Sci skills that correspond with keeping you alive longer or mitigating the damage that you recieve. If you are playing a Support role you may want more skills that will heal/Buff others or you may focus on the debuffing and cc type abilities so you will want a variety of Bridge officers to fill out your Compliment of Ships for the 6+ ship slots you have.
Then there is always taking into consideration the ground abilities of different species if you care about maximizing your away team.
So 12 BOffs is a nice number to allow you some flexibility in the ships you fly. Silver players apparently only just barely get enough BOff slots to run 2 ship layouts yet they have more than 2 ship slots so they get stuck having to pretty much stay in 1 or 2 Ship types. (6 BOff slots for a free player I believe) At 6 Boffs that is 2 of Each Type Which means that any ship that has 3 of one slot type will be crippled or if you go say 3 Tac you will only have 1 for either Eng or Sci which Could cripple any ship that needs 2 of either the Sci or Eng depending what you chose.
It all boils down to keeping your options open on what you are going to fly at that point without having to reroll your toon.
A lot of the later ones are just better quality boffs if you want to replace your commons.
Depending on how much you switch ships, you can easily find yourself using multiple boffs in order to fit your ship layouts. Even if you use the same ship all the time, you can switchboffs to change the mission. As an example, I have four tactical boffs. Two have Cannon Rapid Fire and Torpedo High Yield while the other two have Cannon Scatter Volley and Torpedo Spread. I use the CRF/THY boffs if controlling fire onto targets one at a time is crucial (Cure), while I use the CSV/TS boffs if there's a lot of minor targets that I can just unload on without worrying about a stray shot screwing something up (Khitomir Accord).
In short, it depends on your ship(s) and play style. You might as well keep them around for now, get more boff slots if you want them, and see what works best for you.
I like to have the right tool for the job. What ever the job may be. I also like to test things for myself. You cant always trust the tool tips, you cant always trust hear say, and you cirtainly cant trust half of what you read on the forums.
So I have 42 boffs. With more boffs you can fly more ships in more ways without the hassel of retraining, you can switch boffs mid mission, aoe attacks and gravity wells for groups, energy syphons and single target attacks for boss ships. Auxilery power to structual for some missions, emergency power to engines for others.
Ever read patch notes? from time to time cool downs and statistics get changed. Old stratergies become less competative and stratergies that were previusly bad become usefull. By constantly testing and re-testing differant ability combinations I keep ahead of the curve.
But then i share what I learn with my fleet mates who dont have the rediculus number of boffs that I do. So i supose you realy are fine with a few.
I currently have 14 BOffs - six are my department heads, the rest are junior officers.
Most ground missions I bring two junior security officers, a medic and one "specialist" from a department relevant to the nature of the mission. I seldom use my department heads unless it's an FE mission.
I also like the challenge that comes with entering a ground mission with limited BOff powers, as opposed to having a team filled with Commanders (to each to their own, I suppose).
If you fly sci a lot you will want a lot so you can switch them out. Sci has a lot of goodies so you will want different skills for different runs and you won't want to head to ESD every time to retrain.
Escorts can get away with less if you fly cookie cutter and don't change it up much.
Cruisers... depends. I like to be able to swap it up some, but I tend to gravitate to only a couple actual layouts.
Because nothing is scarier then a Betazoid sci flying a Galaxy