The Starving Bandits are a Hostile faction regardless of starting scenario choice. As of version 0.58.3 Starving Bandits are a wandering faction and have no starting area and control no towns or villages. For that reason you will find them in all areas of the map.
Penniless and worthless, many low-lives gathered together to form large groups and take what they want. Whether blood or fortune, they will do whatever it takes to survive in the desolate badlands. Due to their fragile states, many are weak and untrained for combat, but they have strength in numbers.
Starving Bandits will roam in groups of three to eight members. Since they are the weakest enemies you can encounter, it's possible to fend off a group with some decently trained members that are low on stats.