I think the whole hideout thing needs a lot more work to really get interresting.
Picture if you don't like reading:
Text for more in depth explanation:
1. Finding the hideout.
Right now its exltremly easy to find hideouts. You just want to visit a village and suddenly you spot a hideout at the other end of the forrest. I haven't even skilled scouting and i still randomly spot them everywhere. How does it come that nobody already destroyed them if they are that easy to find.
Finding them should already be the first part of the challenge and could offer some change from the constant hunting and killing bandits.
High bandit activity in a region would be a clue that a hideout is somewhere in that area. You can then find it by following tracks or a bandit party which is on its way to the hideout. Most bandit groups should visit the hideout from time to time to store their loot and to get new men.
2. Actions once you found the hideout.
Once you found the Hideout you now get two choices.
Option A: Try to sneak up
First you get to select units you want to come with you. It is totally up to you how many and which units you want to accompany you.
After you have done that you get placed on the first of two battle maps.
On the first Battle map are one to three scattered outposts each one having a big signal fire. 25% of the hideouts men power are at these outposts. Your job is to elimiate them without the bandits being able to light any signal fire.
If you get detected by bandits two different things can happen.
They realize they are not strong enough to take on your sneaky force so they try to light the signal fire and alarm the hideout that way.
They think they are strong enough to defeat your sneaky forces. In that case they attack you without trying to raise alarm. Of course if they realize they are losing the fight they will retreat and try to alarm the hideout.
By sneaking up the player needs to be able to position himself close enough to the signal fires to avoid it getting kindled by bandits. Even if you get spooted a bit earlier you should at least have a chance to kill bandits who run up to the signal fire with missile weapons.
Taking a lot of soldiers with you makes it more likely that bandits spott you early. Also they will always try to alarm the hideout instead of trying to fight you.
On the other hand taking to few men will make it difficult to actually defeat the outposts. So the player needs to carefully choose his companions.
If you fail:
The hideout gets alarmed. Read option B to find out the consequenzes.
If you are successfull
you and your entire army will be placed on the second battle map. This time its the hideout. because no alarm was raised, the bandits are scattered. Their numbers are lower because you already killed some of them at the outposts. Your goal is of course to defeat the remaining bandits.
Option B: Attack without trying to sneak up
In that case your army gets spotted of course and the hideout gets alarmed.
Now two things can happen:
1. The hideout thinks it can defend your attack.
In that case all remaining troops from the ourposts retreat to the hideout. The bandits fortify it and the player has to fight some kind of siege battle against a fortified position.
2.The hideout thinks it can't defend itself.
In this case the bandits take their loot, scatter and flee in all directions. The player can now try to hunt down the biggest fleeing party and get at least some value that way. Of course the hideout being abandoned now, still has a small negativ impact on the bandit population in that area.
I know my suggestion is a lot of work.
But honestly right now the hideout attacks are very similar to warband and get boring really fast.
I think they are a great opportunity to mix up the gameplay.
With my suggestion there is the possibillity to get some kind of smaller siege battle very early in the game.