I also just got the Assault cruiser refit, and I've been considering putting a tactical officer on that spot just to see how it would perform, but it seems like it would drastically impact survivability. Might be fun for giggles.
So, a few weeks ago I was very disappointed with my slow progress on diplomatic cxp, as I was plodding along making very little progress. I made a conscious decision to focus on diplomacy DOff missions first, and yesterday hit level 4 diplomacy. Boy did that feel like an accomplishment!