Sisko thought the same thing while fighting with the Odyssey, although it didn't work very well at the time
Which might well be a counterindication to using them that way ever again.
We never quite get to see what the fighters are up to after "Sacrifice of Angels". They aren't seen firing at anything specific, say. But they appear to follow the Defiant
on occasion, sometimes by Sisko's command ("What You Leave Behind"), and the Defiant
only picks fights with ships of her own size, that is, those small Jem'Hadar battlebugs or Breen ships.
Fighters are a new thing in Trek
But only until otherwise proven. The argument for them actually demonstrating newness in DS9 is pretty thin.
they sure as hell don't use the birds of prey as as a spearhead for a larger vanguard
Hmh? That's the very thing they seem to be doing in "Way of the Warrior" and most of the DS9 fleet battles. They're the first into the fray at Chin'Toka, swarming in a type-specific formation to intercept the incoming kamikaze ships - and the second into the fray in "WotW", closing in after the initial overflight by those red-beam-refitted K't'ingas
, while larger ships maintain their distance.