VA Level ship

Hey guys, when I hit VA I'm gonna grab the Galaxy retro and I was there a way for it to be used as an ELINT/Recon/SIGINT ship? Or would the VA Defiant be better?

Due to the whole "advanced sensors" thing associated with them, my first thought for a SIGINT ship would be a science vessel. My second thought would be a cruiser, with escorts not really figuring in.

We know from the series that cruisers are used over SVs for exploration missions, which is promising, but this seems to be due to their "handle anything" nature rather than improved self-sufficiency based on evidence from Voyager. This brings us back to the fact that SVs are generally referred to as the specialist ships, while cruisers are the generalist workhorses of Starfleet.

I'm thinking about it, and I get the impression that--for any specialized role other than "having lots of space and/or a tough hull"--a cruiser will be outclassed by either a SV or an escort. In this case, I think it's the SV that fills the role best. So, for a dedicated SIGINT ship, I would actually say SV.

HOWEVER. You could still make a decent SIGINT ship out of a cruiser, due to the aforementioned lots of space for people and stuff. Consider that a lot of the work will be decryption, and you can fit a lot more processors on a cruiser than any other ship.

What I would actually do is multiclass, and I think it would be pretty cool to make a sort of mobile FOB. From my (limited) understanding, a lot of SIGINT is sitting in a listening post and gathering data to be decrypted. Add in logistical support capabilities and a bit of command/control, and you'd have something only a cruiser could be. While a more specialized craft would be a LPOP and nothing more, this ship could provide overwatch, direct small-scale operations, or just loiter somewhere collecting and crunching data.

Bottom line, though, is that the difference in suitability between an SV and a cruiser is small enough to be easily overridden by player preference.
That's very true. Alrighty then, I'll grab the Galaxy Retro and "outfit" Cargo Bay one into a listening post of sorts, with multiple frequency, wide spectrum sensor arrays, which forward all relevant information to Cargo Bay 2, which will act as the C.I.C, decrypting, analysing and deciding on what happens based on that information. However, from an IC standpoint, I'm gonna want to take the Commander/Captain Exam before actually using her IC.

Sound good?
At the end of the day the only thing that really matters is that you're enjoying the game, and you should choose your ship and play style with only that in mind. Come up with whatever flimsy excuse you need for having a scienced-up escort or a science ship-o'-war, or to be flying a Jem'hadar carrier or a Wells Timeship, there is no policy in Argo that restricts what ships you can use. The only thing you have to contend with is game mechanics.
Well said Razor.