I can totally understand your concerns, I try to explain a little:
Of course paying attention to the map screen is really important. Just as in Mount and blade where you get owned by searaiders or deserters at any time :) Maybe it helps if I tell you we are right about starting the big Worldmap overhaul. That will include not only a visual overhaul, but a complete rework and addition of many features. I cant spoil too much right now, because we dont know how much stuff we can squeeze in there in the time we have.
After the rework the worldmap should be a lot more interesting.
Werwolves can be a challenge, but I think on day 35 together with a caravan you should be able to tackle 10 werewolves. The game can be very frustrating at the beginning, before you truly get into it and understand the game mechanics.
I would go so far to say the first 3 playthroughs are just practice runs where you will get destroyed sooner or later :) Use them to try out as much as possible and understand the mechanics of tactical combat.
The Goblins are designed to be viable enemies from mid to late game. If you get into combat with them too early on, its gonna be hard. Just like the orcs. During the worldmap rework we will straighten out the enemy progression, so every faction can be fought at all levels.
At the moment its more like this:
Early game: Bandit Thugs, Wiedergangers, small werewolf bands
Mid Game: Young Orcs, Bandits (thugs and raiders), Skeletons, maybe some Goblins
Late Game: Necromancers, Vampires, Large Werewolf packs, Orc warriors/Berserkers, Goblins
Something like this.
Hope it helps!