I suggest an option to choose hideout difficulty, so everyone will be happy, both who hate hideouts and who think that everything is fine.
One of the most important things is that these options won't change the balance of the game, because the number of bandits remains the same by default on every difficulty. But! The difficulty for sneaking in changes the number of troops you face here. If you think about it, everything is logical. You wait until night, sneak in not to fight the entire camp, but fight only the night guards and the bandit leader, who is the main goal, because without him bandits will be disorganized. So if the difficulty is lower than normal, you kill some guards and the leader, after that all remaining bandits are standing near the place, where this hideout was and can be destroyed too if you wish, or if they are in higher numbers, they can attack you, but already not in the hideout, but on the regular open field as usual.
So the Options - better in pause menu or in character creation screen, where you can choose hideout difficulty:
Hard - more bandits in hideouts from the very start and you fight all of them as usual.
Normal - default bandit hideouts and you fight them all as usual.
Easy - you fight capped/limited number of random bandits from hideout. F.e. maximum is 44 = 10-10-10-10-4. Not 37-1-1-4 or it will lose sense. If it can't be done, you fight 20 bandits.
Very easy - you fight 10 random bandits (or maybe even a bandit leader right away).
Of course these difficulties can be different from what I suggested. The main idea is to be able to choose it.
Also this idea can be added to the ones above: when you catch them by surprise they will be less prepared and more vulnerable.
So I think in this case all or some part of bandits will just appear before you in their civilian outfit with civilian weapons only. Seems to be a pretty easy option even if there are lots of them.Good suggestion, for the point 2 i was thinking that another option could be giving them less equipment (like removing ranged weapons from some of them, armor from others, etc.) because you caught them offguard and they had no time to prepare for battle
Everyone have different opinions on bandit hideouts.
Many think they should be nerfed, many think, everything is fine. So opinions can be roughly somewhere near 50/50 or so. So there should be an option for everyone. That's why I think hideouts should remain as they are and either there should be an option to make them easier or even harder.
UPD. A mod. Partly solves the problem and solves the problem completely for the ones, who wanted to bring as much troops as they wanted to hideout fights. Even the whole party.
Raises the party size limit for attacking hideouts, allowing you to bring all of your party (or just a certain number of troops.)
A mod, which allows you to attack a hideout at a daytime. So no more waiting until night comes.
UPD. Some of my other threads, which are not exactly connected with this topic, but can make this game better in one way or another:
Suggestion. Make training grounds the new main source of training, especially for recruits. Add recruiters and patrols in the game.
Suggestion. Building in towns and castles is way too fast and free. Maintenance.
Build your own fief with future upgrades. Detailed.
Capitals/all fiefs with unique buildings and additional opportunities.
Suggestions. Maths and Winter attrition for balance. Detailed explanation
Tools to balance food and prosperity. Detailed suggestions for food shortages.
Additional information, which can be useful. Mainly about mods one way or another connected with the thread.
Don't know if all these are compatible. ☝
A mod "Scum and Villainy - The Underworld Rises (new faction and hideouts)", which doesn't solve this particular problem, but should make the whole bandit faction more fun. Which may at least make hideouts a little more interesting. Depends on future plans of the modder.
Scum and Villainy - Organized Crime 26.5.0. - Banditbred (1.6.0. to 1.6.2. by Eagle and limited 1.6.4 by aimdru)
This mod overhauls the game with organized crime. Roguery and criminal rating plays a larger role in making money, new acitivities, mini-quests, companions, factions and 100+ new troops and parties. F
A mod. Also doesn't solve the problem, but is connected with the thread. Using it, you can send troops to a hideout without actually going there by yourself. For the ones, who doesn't like hideouts.