Quick question how much better than the Assult cruiser is the Excelsior when it comes to damage dealing?[/QUOTE]
I use the LCDR Tac slot for Dispersal Pattern B. Eject Warp Plasma III followed by a Dispersal Pattern B of Purple Plasma Mines ruins the enemy's day.
It can be used defensively against someone on your tail or can be used offensively on a flyover.
As mentioned by others, the Excelsior Refit turns a little faster. Perhaps due to being smaller than the newer cruisers. In it's day the Excelsior was sometimes considered a battleship. Now it looks small, so a lot of the younger crowd avoid it.