I'm quite interested in these buddies. One of the dev's recently described it as one of the most involving highlights of the game. I hope they can really do a good job of humanising them, not just some stiff that tags along behind you.
They need to have some good little bits of dialog, not just "ARRHGHH! Help!" and "Come get some!". For example, they could tell the odd joke, share something about themselves while you're driving between villages, comment on the weather, comment on surroundings & enemy movements, etc.
There would need to be a lot of this dialogue though, to keep it from being repetitive. Take Jagged Alliance 2 for example, it had well over 50, maybe close to 100 playable characters and they all had many, many lines of dialogue. Surely they can do something like this, about 8 years later for a dozen characters. In Jagged Alliance 2, some characters would get fed up with each other and say stuff like, "I can't work around this stupid #$@^!" so you'd have to rethink who you want working along side you. I guess I'm saying I want the buddies to have dynamic and distinct personalities, so I can't wait to hear more about them.