This may be more of a problem with my strategy, but I’m currently finding that escort and formation can cause some really odd behaviour. Whenever I tell a few ships to escort another ship that is behind the, they always seem to start off by turning in to get as close as possible to the escorted ship.
Formation, however, causes problems when applied to ships with similar weapons ranges. What can happen is that once one of the ships is in range it’ll stop and start to fire, but this means that any ships that aren’t yet in range will just sit there and let the lead ship get pounded away.
I think that these problems are probably fixable by using them in different ways and using different orders, so using protect instead of escort say or creating formations out of different ship types.