Hey. I agree there is some weird difficulty issue in the first few days. I had some runs end because I got ambushed by some raiders after the hoggart fight too. Missions are fine but world map enemies are sometimes too hard. Luckily I hardly ever see roaming Necros.
It’s not just encounters like this. During caravan runs and other fights, NPC allies barely make a token attempt at helping the player in combat, but somehow during the undead invasion sieges they just can’t help but throw themselves at the enemy so they can come back as wiedergangers, and I can get a UI blurb telling me that I failed to protect them. What accounts for the passive behavior of the AI in the one occasion and the near giddy suicidal fervor in the other, other than generating more enemies under the guise of “defense”?
This is entirely because of how the new AI handles ranged combat. If the enemy thinks they have the ranged advantage, they will just stand there an shoot at you while your own, much better archers take out anything they want. Likewise caravan guards stand behind our own guys to avoid enemy arrows. Then, when all their archers are dead and you want to dagger the last fleeing raider they suddenly become brave and go in for the kill-steal.
Also I agree the event where mercenaries come to take your cargo is truly frustrating. Happened to me twice in a row, first time I gave it up. Second time I killed them where I almost lost some guys. And that for a 300 crowns contract?! I understand it happens when we find an enemy leader for double crown reward but not on delivery contracts.
Those events can be kinda fun late game but in the early game where probably just 2-3 of the mercs could take on your whole crew it really feels unfair.
As for your initial question what you could do – the only thing that comes to mind is to be extra careful and avoid necrosavants at all cost. I also get 2 guys with mace mastery to stun Necrosavants and big Nachzehrers.
Caravan quests can be deadly, especially if you get ambushed. I also noticed it spawning enemy parties directly in front of the city. Exit and instantly in a fight against raiders. On other occasions I don’t get attacked at all. Yesterday I got attacked by 5 different groups in one escort. Three of them on the exact same spot. My caravan didn’t even move an inch.
Maybe reduce the time a caravan stands still after getting attacked?