Skirmish events combine everything you hate about the arena with everything you hate about events. But, the loot boxes also provide an incredible opportunity to stock up on honor, credits, (sometimes) single premium pulls - and the chron drops make them about chron neutral for most people. Skirmishes are the optimal time to level crew or prefarm for galaxies due to the chron returns. More on prefarming below.
In order to get max VP from any skirmish, all you need is one 1*, level 1 event crew. Remember - fusion and level does not matter for VP in these events. You don't even need to park this person in a corresponding skill spot. They can go anywhere on your ship (such as a med or eng slot, even if they do not have med or eng). There is no point in unvaulting bonus crew, as you will get max VP from using any event crew. If you don't have event crew at the outset, play until the first threshold purple is reached, and then slot that person in. Again... level, fusion, placement -- none of that matters. All that matters is that you have an event character's butt on your boat.
Especially with the introduction of the auto battles, speed and reliability are key. Your highest level ship will be the best one for you to use, and many new players may not be able to skip straight to Epic mode. That’s fine and to be expected until you can level up a 5* ship.
If you are a more seasoned player, you can skip straight to Epic without having to play through the lower levels. For most people at this stage, the optimal setup is to use the Krayton, have your one event crew slotted in, and fill the other slots by crew with strong burst damage. Common options here are Killy, Krusty the Klingon, Fury Kes, T'Kuvma, Pointy Sisko, and recent mega Garth. In the absence of those, your usual arena gold standards like Mirror Spock, Locutus, RP Reed, T'Mir, and Ardra will do you just as well.
DO NOT under any circumstances use or buy the featured ship in order to use it. It's a total waste of money, and that's coming from me. Who is known for wasting money. But don't be like me, guys, and don't waste it. Any maxed 5* ship will do you better than a featured ship.
Which ship is entirely up to you. Many people have great success with the Bounty or Borg Cube for the hull regeneration. With auto mode, I can’t say enough good things about the Krayton, if you have it. The power surge ability will cut the charging time of activation triggers and will lead to shortened battles. With the Krayon and a few boomsticks, it’s possible to do an end to end run in about a minute on 3x auto. I personally use the Krayton on all of my accounts because the only thing worse than a skirmish battle is a *longer* skirmish battle.
Intel and Prefarming
You will begin with a small amount of intel that regenerates over time. Never pay dil to buy more. It can be easily gained by running ship battles.
A skirmish is the optimal time to level crew or prefarm for galaxy events because you’ll be accruing intel by running missions, which can then be converted into playing skirmish rounds. The drop boxes of chrons will help you support the cost of running the missions.
Remember to always use a supply kit. Kits are given pretty freely in event thresholds, so you should have some available to help you prefarm. If you spend 1,000 chrons, with a kit, you can net about 13,333 intel (33% return over not using one). That intel will roughly translate into ~66,667 VP.
The tables below feature some of my favorite places to prefarm for galaxy items. We ran a statistical analysis of 55 full galaxy events and compiled the following lists based on the frequency items appear (i.e. the item with a rank of 1 appears most often).
Anything with a frequency rank and gray highlight is used in galaxy events. Something labeled "high cost item" is frequently used in building character equipment but won't be used in a galaxy.
Too small? You can grab the tables read only off of Google Sheets here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17OBpfvsrIVl_I9iLWvrrNK2f3v8JGE8NPfGalQ-OXe4/edit?usp=sharing
Finally, here is a workbook you based off of those tables where you can upload your inventory from DataCore and see a suggested farming list customized to your inventory: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15lW1EZM-NZlFnMTynRTKwjl97nlZPJSz/view?usp=sharing
To get your DataCore inventory, go to "share profile" and then download item CSV. Follow the instructions in the workbook, and you'll see how much of each item is in your inventory, so you can figure out where you need to farm.
You'll often hear people talk about how much they love skirms and how they're the best event type. They're an absolute grind, so it might be confusing, but in addition to preaching the gospel of prefarming, I'm also on a mission to convert you all to loving skirms.
First of all, at 6,000 VP a round operating with an event crew on your ship on Epic, it is extremely easy to clear thresholds. (This assumes you are running Epic battles, because it doesn't require you to ramp up from Normal difficulty like an expedition.) If the best you can do is Normal or Elite, Epic will come. A maxed 5* ship is what makes that possible.
Secondly, the loot drops. Most people find that skirmishes leave them relatively chron neutral, and they can often net significant amounts of honor and credits by playing. Note: you do not need to use the dil refresh to see these results. In fact, most people don't use it.
Third, skirmishes will not impact the crew that you can send on shuttles and voyages. Since it functions like arena, you can go ahead and send out any crew that you want on either. This means it is the event that has the least impact on your daily gameplay.
Finally, because fusion doesn't matter in max scoring, this is the most egalitarian event type. Having a maxed gold crew nets you the exact same VP as someone who grabbed 1 star off the purple from thresholds. The gating issue here is ships, not crew, which you can get off dabo or in pulls.