In last days I had a few hours and tried to use some of the tips. Thanks hruza for your in deept description of your way of playing. My problem is I had three games and never made it past day 20. So 200+ armor or even buying a falcon is something I don’t even get close to. Still I tried some of your first tips. At first I had 6 brothers against Hogard the Weasel and was able to get his armor. After that I hired 2 additional brothers. Now in the current attempt I am at day 12 and had no loses so far. Also with 1000 crowns, 40 tools, 25 medical supplies and 8 brothers in 50+ bodyarmor and 40+ headarmer things don’t look so bad. In this case I will go without meatshilds and with a quality approach. Hopefully it will work.
In the fist try I got ambushed by direwolfs in the middle of the night in some woods at day 7. I had no chance to position my brothers and because of the movement penalty and the initially disastrous positioning the direwolfs killed my ranged fighter in turn 2 and after that two other fighters. The rest did think that running away was a good idea and got slaughtered. While going through the woods I looked cautiously, but still the direwolfs attacked me before I could react. Well maybe this was just bad luck.
In the second attempt I did pretty well at first. Did not lose a single brother in the first 20 days. I also tried to have hire new brothers with cheep backgrounds when I had the armor and weapons for them at hand. What I realized is that the game seems overly punishing while scaling the difficulty up when hiring new guys. With 6 guys I did fine. With 8 guys I did okay. But after that … I took a contract to recover an artifact and kill some ancient auxiliary in the process. It should pay 420 crowns. I did quests in this prize range before without to much trouble. But those skeletons whipped me totally. I used flails to go for the head, used axes to break shields, had the 3 guys with the best melee skill in the backrow with hooked blades and pitchforks. The frontline did shield wall them while the backrow tried to cause havoc. Well that did not work out at all!
What I learned from those tries:
1. The combination of axes and shields for weak frontline brothers and polearms for more skilled brothers in the backrow works nicely! This tip helped me a great deal!
2. The quantity approach did not work for me. The scaling up of the difficulty for hiring new brothers made the game more difficult than with fewer brothers. Those extra brother could not nearly negate the rise in difficulty that occurred.
3. Most of the time I do alright and my tactics work. There seem to be just some contracts that screw you over completely, with no option to know which those are. Maybe it is just experience. Like those delivery contracts where enemy mercenary bands are showing up past day 30. I did really think I could take those 10 skeletons with my 9 brothers easily and got whipped. But I do not know if I have enough tolerance in me to get through those vast amount of frustration until I have acquired that experience. I just wish there where more informations like when hiring guys what background give which bonuses or a way to more reliable estimate the difficulty before tacking a contract, neither the crowns nor the skulls help much in that regard.
4. There are indeed missions at the start with thugs only. I just got unlucky in my last attempts. So I take back what I said about there being no thugs. I still think it is rather harsh that the games only spawns roaming bands of raiders and not also thugs. Never seen a roaming band of thugs in veteran. Because of that the first 20+ days consist of a lot of running away on the world map for me.
Sorry for all the whining, but I am really feed up right now!