What about the Maquis ships attacking Evek's ship in "Preemptive Strike" or the Federation fighters hitting the Dominion fleet in "Sacrifice of Angels"? One could argue that such vessels are modifications and not "stock" vehicles, but they certainly seemed to be having some effect in both cases.
I saw no effect in the latter case, at least nothing worth risking the pilots for. Perhaps the Maquis surprised Evek pants, I mean shields, down, like they did the Malinche
On the other hand, the Maquis that hurt Evek (but failed to destroy his ship) were said to be sporting Type 8 phasers, hardware canonically associated with the Enterprise
-B, if only in an Okudagram. And supposed Cardassian small/medium craft later sported "Galor
class" phaser banks. So rigging a capital ship gun onto a much smaller vessel might be possible after all.
Look at a photon torpedo; or at the size of a phaser emitter mounted on defiant/enterprise for confirmation.
A single photon torpedo is not a useful weapon against shielded starships: you need about a dozen to do noticeable damage to one. And packing a dozen inside a fightercraft is already a major payload tradeoff.
A single phaser emitter in turn can vary in power, and those on the runabouts or the small Maquis ships were shown to be fairly impotent even against other small craft. We have no idea about the size of a phaser gun onboard a capital ship, except for minimum estimates based on visible components; the ones on a Galaxy
are the size of small villages.
If you have 50 smallish drones, each with a single phaser emitter of enterprise level, impulse engines and enough power to keep them running for 1 hour (not longer), you have firepower exceeding what a federation capital ship can bring to bear.
Certainly. But we have never seen anything like this done. Drones with phaser emitters on par with starships were first seen in "Tears of the Prophets", and these were immobile and needed a massive external power source.
That is, discounting the spaceborne version of Echo Papa Six Oh Seven, a device new and alien to our heroes. While the ground-fighting EP-607 seemed to have a relatively feeble gun and relied on remotely projected... something (Power? Operating instructions?), the space device (EP-608?) appeared independent of the sales center. But that was supertech from the point of view of our heroes.
One wonders if the Minoans are still in business... Surely their legal department would have made airtight contracts that would not be massively disrupted by minor things such as the extinction of the species?