The players can influence the world of Kenshi in a number of ways. The most prominent, may be killing or kidnapping the leader of a certain faction. On a smaller faction (such as the Skin Bandits) killing their leader can lead to a vast reduction in the spawn rate of this faction. The faction base is then destroyed or occupied by a different faction.
Killing the leader of a larger faction will not necessarily lead to the immediate dissolution of that faction. Instead the player would need to find the other faction leaders and deal with them. These larger factions, such as The Holy Nation and the United Cities, will likely send increasingly strong Base Assaults if the player chooses to kill a minor faction leader before killing the primary leader.