Nice to meet you.
Save scumming is almost like addiction. try once and then next time have no reasons to not do it.
Especially in this game where(in current state) save scumming is much more rewarding.
#Enemies are generated on fight. That mean when you reload from autosave you face new generic set of enemies. There still will be the same type like 12 Raiders but they weapon and armours(dunno about skill-sets) are randomly generated. This make trivial to farm weapons or armors or reduce increase profit/risk from the fight.
#Even worse is enemy bosses and unique weapons are generated in the same way. So you get to fight Bandit leader who has only few mooks? It easy to reload until he have some unique swords and shields or heavy armour.
### The only solution for this(I think) is for enemy units to be permanently generated on spawn. So Bandit Thug Bob when he spawn in enemy camp he get permanent stats, skills and equipment then he can be level up into higher tier versions(or better armed and skilled Thug). The same goes for bosses and unique weapons. Having it permanent would eliminate most of the temptation for the save scumming(in the case of farming unique stuff)
#The same situation happen with the terrain. It is randomly generated on fight. So if you don’t like terrain it easy to roll for another. This can be great pain or great advantage.
### The only way to prevent exploiting this would be generate whole world(all tiles) on the start. So when you fight enemy on this tile you fight him always on the same set.
This sort of world generation would be long and saves would be probably gigantic(unless save for world tiles would be separate from but connected to current company and world situation).
#Similar situation is with recruit able mercenaries in cities and settlements. They are generated on first visit in settlement so if player saves before visiting he can easily roll for another set of mercenaries.
###Proposed solution is to generate them on start and then make them move and new appear in process separated from player action.
#Another problem with mercenaries is that there is no clear indication about their stats and traits. Some trait are big advantage/disadvantage and people can abuse this system to roll perfect mercenaries. This is a real problem especially when player have a full rooster and look for better replacements.
###Proposed solutions are few.
First is to make recruits checkable for some fee(like 10% of their initial cost) so player can pay to check mercenary stats(buy him so alcohol and talk a little or pay him to show off his skills).
Other is to make some sort indicators how skilled observed mercenary is. Its not a background stats but observed mercenary stats. Not mentioning his average stats or non visible traits but give few indications about him. Something like that:
Strong – High fatigue
Healthy – High HP
Skilled combatant – High Melee Skill
Sickly – low HP
Weak – Low fatigue
No combat experience – low Melee Skill
Some traits should be mentioned like Fat or Short as they are clearly visible. They should affect initial price and daily cost -its commons sense that skilled mercenary will demand more than unskilled sickly or maimed one. Other shouldn’t – I think they should stay hidden and be discovered after few levels gained or some time in company spent – especially mental ones like Irrational or Optimism. The same goes for nasty addictions or sickness that are not clearly visible. Of course some addictions can be spotted. Other can be ambiguous like Courageous indicator that can transform into Fearless or Cocky.
#There is also one thing worth to mention. Stats grow on level up. I really think that most if not all stats should grow little(randomly) on level up. It could be done in a way that all rolls all done when character is generated and can be save scummed. It would be a hidden potential of character. There still should be option to increase stats by player but in addition to this hidden potential option. It can also simulate not only hidden talents but also excessive training – some backgrounds can have some additional chance for grow on few early level ups.
Example: Farmhand Joe level up to Level 2 and get bonus stats grow to Resolve +2 and Melee Skills +1(Military training) and Fatigue +1 and HP +2(his Hidden Potential). It could be affected by his background, traits and random roll. Player has still three skills to increase by fixed amount.
This would make grow little unpredicted and allow weaker background grow into strength. Levelling up low cost mercenaries could be much more rewarded if there is some chance for this Farmhand Joe to have real talent for the sword.
There are also two other things to mention.
^One is to lack of reliable withdraw option for a Ironman players. It should be nice to run from the fight(even before it started) at cost of some lost supplies and items or wounded brothers and lost reputation(not implemented yet).
^Second is lack of safe places when player can hide from pursuing enemy and weakness of militia forces.
About your question.
First choose your battle.
Secondly beginning is always the hardest.
Currently I start new deadly Ironman campaign. By choosing when to fight my company is still alive.
2 companions are dead and I am rather short on cash (only4,5K gold). Company is all low upkeep. Only one retired soldier and swordmaster, the rest are scrubs. Its 29 day.