The issue here is this statement:
What's a set of spoils? You earn spoils at the end of every turn in which you successfully conquer a region, just like reality!
I'm still not sure what the "just like reality" is referring to (war? other board games? poker night?), but the rules say that if you conquer a region, you get a spoil. I can just imagine this around the table - someone rolls the dice, makes their moves, and then sits back and waits 59 minutes for the clock to run out so they don't take a card.
I understand that people use this tactic. The question is, is this a bug or a feature? If it's a bug, then close the loophole and implement Doc's suggestion. If it's a feature, change the Instructions to include something like "If you don't finish your turn before time runs out, you don't get a spoil, just like reality!"
Personally, I see this as a cheap tactic in nuclear spoils play, since you can break your opponent's bonus but not have to worry about nuking your own bonus your next round. What's the point of nuclear spoils, then?
Mc says he supports complexity in games. Fair enough. But I support choices and consequences. Do I risk breaking that bonus if it means I might have to nuke my own? Should I hunt another player, even if it means I risk nuking my teammate? Choices and consequences are good for Conquer Club and lead to more interesting gameplay.
But in the spirit of choices and consequences, I voted for the third option, because in a speed game, not ending the turn in time really does have consequences for Escalating play for the reasons MC mentioned. How long can I wait before ending the turn? Will I have enough time to reinforce? So I'd like this rule to be enforced for 24-hour games, where 1 hour is enough time for anyone to make their moves, even the most complex ones, whereas in speed games, the clock is your enemy, and taking too much time should result in not being able to reap the benefits of a spoil.