I thought 'lone wolf' would make the game simpler, no gang to worry about, looks like I was wrong. I have good armor, good defensive skills, and an AKM but still am being slaughtered by bandits. 6:1 odds is bad. I was dismayed to see that some of the bandits have a regenerative ability during combat!! Is there anyway I can rescue my pathetic character?
Just hire Fidel in Krasnoznamenny and Hexogen in Red Fighter, level them in one weapon skill and you should be good, if you get lucky you might also find soviet version of Dogmeat but it's random encounter. I always trained Fidel in Pistols/SMG + Pistol Skill Tree and gave him crafted Percusion Revolver+ - it costs 2 AP to fire, with Fast Hands skill only 1AP and has pretty decent damage) and as for Hexogen - I put points into Rifles/Shotguns, gave him SKS with scope and didn't really have trouble in almost any combat except that ridiculous one at the end - I won't spoil)
If you insist on going alone without any companions (not even dog) then you will have to invest lots of points into Speechcraft to talk your way out of hostile human encounters and into Survival to avoid encounters with animals (those giant spiders can be trouble if they surround your lone character).
Side note: As for that bandits "regenerative" ability during combat - they simply use those soviet stimpaks a.k.a. stimulants to heal themselves and/or Kasparamid pills or whatever they're called, no magic nor cheating :)