Reply To: Possible to progress at Deadly difficulty if you choose to kill Hoggart?

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its all about who do you hire and what do you buy in that very quest.
militia, deserter, and caravan hand are the best option, but they could be expensive. you need someone who has high melee skill, this is the only matter in the very early game. dont pitty your crowns, get them enlist, at least one. they are expensive because they already carrying a decent weapon and wearing a nice cloth rather than rag.
then buy shield, any kind of them, the broken one is better, because its cheaper, equip them for your new recuits.
get your second companian a shield as well, the one who has a big axe, so he, one of your damage dealer, wont die easily. give the big axe to someone costabe, maybe a begger or a refugee, you only need that weapon for shield breaking when you facing hoggrat.
after the blood bath against hoggrat, most of your men will survive, tend the wound, if anyone with low melee skill was badly injuried, dismiss him and get someone new, not worthy waste your medic supply.
then you get a brand new party of your journey.