Triumph & Tragedy by GMT Games is a rare example of an excellent three-player game. Having played it a few times, I thought it could be adjusted to a five-player game and amended the rules to accommodate five players.
T&T uses blocks as units and like Stratego and Columbia Games’ block games. The block faces remain hidden unless attacked or attacking. Card play for diplomacy (‘Government Phase’ in T&T lingo) is usually card by card, but Dan divvied up the Phase into a maximum of three sub phases to make it easier for the PBeM umpire. As long as one player plays a card, the next sub phase occurs, but if nobody plays a card, the Government Phase ends. You get an updated map at the end of each sub phase
This fantastic four-player game — admittedly a little long in the tooth now, but entertaining as ever — pits English and Spanish players against two French players (north and south, or as the counters are colored, blue and green).
It’s a point-to-point map. Markers and unit counters cover the Iberian peninsula showing who owns what space (regular, key, and fortress). Cards drive the system — you can either play a card for its action point value: move a stack for 1 point, recruit a strength point for 2 points, and so on; or, play it for its stratagem: swap strength points, get reinforcements, lose strength points for outside the playing area deployments, change political ownership of a space, gain a battle advantage, cancel a battle advantage, etc., etc., etc. — if you can think of an effect, there’s likely a card in there somewhere. Some cards are events: They take effect immediately and contain a similar variety of strength point effects.