So...I read that you should *always* give the highest dps weapons you're not currently using to your companions. These typically are heavy weapons, right? So your companions close to short range with them.
I experimented. I gave plasma rifles to my companions. They *still* closed to short range anyway.
I re-experimented, and told my companions to stay at one spot, with a clear LoS, and I opened fire at range with my own plasma rifle. THIS is where it got good! My companions opened fire as the outlaws ran towards our position like the imbeciles that the horrible npc combat AI makes them, and it turned into a cake walk!
Sorry to necro the thread, but this is for anyone that picked up the game on sale like I did and might be looking into why their companion toons are suicidal morons.