Disclaimer: My primary toon's primary ship is an HEC. I may be somewhat biased as a result, so read the following with that in mind.
The Armitage is effectively a Cruiser/Escort Hybrid ship with a fighter wing. It sacrifices some nimbleness and offensive punch (when compared to other Escorts) for toughness. In the right hands it's potentially the most durable Federation Escort in-game (with the possible exception of the Steamrunner or Fleet Patrol Escort), yet still capable of putting out a very respectable amount of damage.
In addition, the hangar bay gives it some additional flexibility in regards to combat options.
The Oddysey on the other hand is a giant flying brick.
Just a reminder that both the Heavy Escort Carrier and the Odyssey are Vice Admiral ships and won't be available to you until you reach max level.
As to which of the two would be better for you, that depends on your play style. The Odyssey is slow but offers a think hull and a lot of flexibility on how it's built. The heavy escort carrier is one of tougher C-Store escorts, which goes fairly deep into Engineering, making it good for escort pilots that want a little more cruiser in their escort.
Last edited by thegreendragoon1; 04-17-2013 at 08:39 AM.
IMO, the oddysey is only good for one thing, and that's the cool custom bridge it gets. Beyond that, I dont really find anything likeable about it - the bridge doesnt even extend into the ship interior - the oddysey has to use the standard interiors like all other fed ships. The aquarius is kinda cool, but not nearly as useful as a couple wings of fighters.
The heavy escort carrier is definitely a fun ship to fly though. I've got a fed tactical set up in one, and I went the torpedo-spamming route with it: torpedo high yield 1&2, with the torpedo point defense module, and a photon torpedo launcher front and back. That setup lets me pretty much fly in circles and spew out a constant stream of torpedoes at any number of targets. Peregrine fighters add to the photon spam too =P Lastly, the HEC has a lot of ship customization options (visually), which a lot of other vessels dont get.
My other fed, my engineer, flies an atrox carrier. It is incredibly sluggish, but I played a klingon in a vo'quv before getting it so I was used to carrier behavior (this was back when the atrox was the first fed carrier introduced to STO). With dual hangar bays you can field either a mix or a large number of support craft, I've just recently upgraded from my stalkers to scorpions from romulan rep and they work pretty well. The only real downside to the atrox is the incredibly limited tactical slots - only two tac consoles and two tac boff ability slots. It prevents you from running a lot of offensive setups, and you're forced into using gravity well for your main form of damage output.
As for other options, If you dont want to go with any of those, I'd suggest the multi vector advanced escort. I flew one for a long time on my fed engi before getting the atrox, and it's a pretty fun ship with a respectable amount of damage output.
Thanks for the info, not sure about the atrox carrier ut somthing to look at just looking at the other end, whats the Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Explorer or her sister ship like as will get all 3 to compleate the set as she a carrier as well.........
I can't speak in comparison to the carriers. But the multi-mission ships are a solid ship if you're going a science lean. I personally run the Surveillance Explorer and I love it. A hangar bay with Danubes for Tractor Beam, 3 guns fore and aft. I'm not fitted for optimal damage, but having just one means you can front load Aux DHC for amazing damage output while dumping all your power into Aux for supporting your abilities.
It's not amazingly tough and it doesn't have the range of visual options other ships have but it turns reasonably fast and any one of them makes an excellent support platform if you're leaning towards heal/buff options.
The Assault Cruiser Refit or its Fleet variant are solid choices for the offensive-minded Engie. It's still definitely a cruiser, which means you're tanky. But it's also very slow like any other Fed cruiser (though not as slow as the Odyssey), so you have to really enjoy beamplay. It's quite a handsome ship in Sovereign/Regent configuration, so there's also that bonus.