Choosing sides in a conflict will determine how the group splits. With a group of 5-6 you may find that–as a GM–you want them to split into two groups of 3 mice knowing that the Wilderness or Weather will be the other opposition in the conflict.
The conflict Goal will also be a huge determining factor of teams and team size.
So, let’s imagine Weather takes a side in the conflict as a thick blizzard rolls in from the north coast while the patrol is given an urgent duty to reach Barkstone (a lengthy trek). The blizzard is a symptom of the season; we’ll imagine the conflict Goal of the Weather is, “I will drain traveling mice of resources, motivation, and drive; any mice traveling while I am in control will risk death to accomplish their objective.”
Now, if each and every mouse agrees on a conflict goal (for example, “We will not be delayed under any risk to reach Barkstone and deliver our duty.”) then you haven’t got separate teams. Everyone will simply join the same team.
On the other hand, if some mice have an idea for the trek which is different than others, then you’ll get more sides to it. Let’s imagine a group of three mice agree, “We will risk any hardship to reach the destination promptly; our delivery is of utmost importance to health and safety.” In contrast, a group of the other three mice declare, “We must not risk death, for the message we carry is urgent; if our own safety is at stake, we must delay in order to ensure we arrive at Barkstone.” Now, that’s a good reason to split the teams.
Ok, our imaginary scenario is:
Weather: Team Killer Blizzard - “drain resources, motivation, drive; mice risk death” which might translate later to Hungry, Tired, Angry, Sick, Dead.
Mice 1: Team Risk Anything - “any hardship in favor of time; delivery must be timely” which might translate to any number of Conditions as long as the delivery is quick
Mice 2: Team Safe Delivery - “cannot risk safety for urgency; delivery must be successful” which might translate to a delaying Twist as long as the delivery is possible
Next, the teams must apply another condition: it is all-on-all (rather than two-on-one). The two teams have divergent goals with one willing to risk hardship in favor of urgency while the other will not risk safety in favor of urgency.
This means some of their Attacks, Defends, Feints, and Maneuvers will be directed at each other in hopes of ensuring their own Dispo survives to win.
Even if both mice teams work together initially to drop Weather’s Dispo to 0, the conflict is not over! Only one team may remain with Dispo above 0. This means that they must drop Dispo of one another, and it means Weather continues to take actions while the conflict continues! It is a very precarious position to be in.
Once there is a single winner, the compromise can be negotiated. If Weather wins, but owes any sort of compromise, then the players can begin to debate who takes the brunt of the resulting Conditions/Twist. Probably the mouse who rolls for Dispo of a team faces the most debilitating Condition(s).
In the negotiation, I might recall which team hit 0 first and offer them less in the compromise than the other team (i.e. they get the worse deal).
If a mouse team survives with both Weather and other mouse team hitting 0, then probably no mouse risks death, but certainly the result cannot be both urgent delivery and safe delivery–one or the other will be the result. Additionally, Weather will want to make claim in the compromise also.
Three team conflicts are intense. Actions still have to be secretive. Goals must be divergent. Teams must Attack and Defend against a designated target, but must face both teams.
Lastly, if Weather hits 0 Dispo, then a mouse team chooses to Surrender to the other team–they lose everything about their goal. Even Weather would get a better compromise result than the Surrendering team.