That is I what also notice.
I start my first game on deadly and it was deadly. Always short of coin. Enemy better armed. Losses hard to replace. Prices high.
Then I switch to even.
Contracts easy and with decent pay. food, tools, medicine cheap. I don’t need them all that much because enemies are low tier trash that I can easily deal with. And that is big problem on deadly to even keep your weapons in shape – especially that you start with low resources. Get stable situation. Bored fast.
Try 2nd difficulty level. Get used to it.
Now I play on deadly.
Its hard. On beginning. But its get easier with time.
Recently I roll new map and I have good start.
Some easy trade. Trade goods is must on Deadly on start.
Good map is a key.
Get lucky in some fight(low losses, not all items disappear).
Still have no reserves or decent weapons for all(only 8 soldiers). All heavy loss battle and I am in deep shit.
Only way now to recover is trade but you need cash for it.
I think big problem is that locations for contracts are generated from thin air. They are not generated by world.
There is no bandit camp that molest villagers before you take the contract.