Re:Playing with more than 4 players
The first time we played the Trilogy edition, we played with five people -- three good, two evil. The extra pieces were the acid-green group for them original edition.
The evil players allied and focused on good -- and vice versa. Wr played for well over 2 1-2 hours (not counting setup), when the evil player discovered the ring (after eight or so previous tries in other areas). That probbaly saved a half-hour. The player who discovered it (I was the other evil player) would have won on points, and a good player would have been second.
I have one other suggestion in general and for multi-player. When you are setting up armies in regions, place three at a time instead of on.