I believe you are a reasonable person and it’s clear to me that you want what’s best for the players and the game in general. Looking back, I took offense at what you wrote because it sounded to my ears at the time as: “Look! Another example of a player just being handed a victory! He was losing, and then Clint gave him all the nations, and then he won!!!”
I still feel I earned the victory even though I’m by no means a “powerplayer.” I have lost g676, g679 (thanks to your superior play), g687, and g692 to the Huiatt brothers, thanks to their superior strategy.
But g681 was not handed to me. Actually, I felt cheated because Rhovanion was eliminated so early, not due to the efforts of my enemies, but because that experienced player (whom I refuse to name) either sabotaged his nations ON PURPOSE, or he was just completely incompetent trying some weird strategy that blew up in his face. However, because Arnor was completely ineffective, taking NO Angmar pop centers and allowing the WK to take several of his MTowns, I concluded the player self-sabotaged. Anyway, that game basically started as 4 vs. 6.
(My game summary was written off the top of my head and not accurate about when various players picked up certain dropped nations.)
Arnor quit and Eldacar-Rebels picked it up: (Loy) 3 + 2 vs. 2 + 2 +2 (Usu). Several turns later the Eldacar-Rebels-Arnor player quit. Clint offered the positions to me. So 5 vs. 2 + 2 + 2. Arnor had 4 characters at the point. It takes several turns to build back up from 4 characters.
Shortly after, the SK-Hithlum player quit. I deserve SOME credit for applying the pressure to make him quit. One nation each was offered to the Usu: Angmar-Morlaen added SK; and Castamir-Elendin picked up Hithlum. So Loy 5 vs. 3 + 3. Considering the dilapidated state of Arnor, I felt it was a fair fight.
Futhermore, I would NOT have complained if one of those Usu players dropped, allowing the other to control all Usu nations. What grounds would I have had to lodge a complaint? After all, I controlled all the Loyalist nations due to my teammates dropping. If so, it would have been Loy 5 vs. Usu 6. Advantage DS.
But neither of those Usu players wanted to drop. Ok, 5 vs. 3 + 3. I land a couple of nice punches and down goes Morlaen, down goes Hithlum. At that point in the game, the time to complain had passed.
Here is an important point: once you allow the 3 + 3 side to communicate and share info, how do you know they won’t share info ABOUT PREVIOUS TURNS? After all, when I picked up Eldacar-Rebels-Arnor, I had zero access to their previous turns. All I get is the current turns. But if you say to the 3 + 3 side with two players: ok, it’s not a GB any more because players dropped, you’re going to find it difficult to stop the sharing of information related to what went on turns 1 through the current turn. Who picked up what artifacts, who has been killed by curses? What did you see on your maps 5 turns ago, 10 turns ago? This is a problem with saying “This game is no longer a GB game” that Kim doesn’t consider.
So, no, I don’t want my opposition to be able to communicate in a GB game. They had every chance to win this one, but I got lucky and threw the right punches at the right time.