Personally, I think that both options have their advantages.
Sure, playing one on one has something ‘chessy’(and I mean the game :lol:) about it. It’s like you’re trying to get inside the mind of your opponent, deducting his strategy as he/she makes moves and try to make his plans part of your masterplan. It’s fun, it takes a lot of mental work but it’s worth it.
Then again, playing 2 vs 2(I’ve never played with 5 people, and for this I apologize ) has a lot of good features too. Two minds see and think of more than just one. Putting your ideas together will often result in a better plan than either of you thought of, and defeating 2 of your friends(who are your intellectual equals, at least concerning A&A :roll:) gives an enormous satisfaction. Beating two people who think together to defeat you is something special, at least to me.
To sum up. There will always be people who prefer one or the other, but I believe that each has its charm, and therefor such discussions are a bit pointless. And to end with a golden oldie: “Live and let live”(Unless your opponents are playing on the Allied side, in which case, kill the bastards :evil:)