You were playing the "old game" incorrectly if you used #2 above. Only one person could take each "kind" of victory condition. So, if someone took "Reparations: ALL", then nobody could take the other Reparations condition. If someone took "Cede one province" (which was two in the old game, but that's not important), then nobody could take "cede three provinces".
It was a round robin victory condition grab. Each major power got one condition, then the order started over again until either:
1) Everybody had taken the correct number of conditions, or
2) There were no conditions left to be taken (this required at least 3 people or more getting unconditionals)
The order was in the order that the victorious powers originally went to war.
So, let's say France surrenders to the central powers and GB unconditionally. Since GB was at war first, she would choose her first condition. Then, whichever of Austria or Prussia went first would pick next, and then finally the other one. Then, GB would pick again, and so on, until all nine conditions had been taken (or, all were excluded by other picks).
The game went so far in determining "first to war" that it mattered who declared the war, and who was called to allies, etc.
If it could not be determined, I believe either the players could pick the person in a "tie", or randomization was used.
This COULD work in favor of the suing nation, on occasion. Sometimes, people would go "soft" on the surrendering nation, to keep a different rival from becoming too powerful. So, in the example above, Austria might take "cede 1 province" just to keep GB from taking "cede 3 provinces".
At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?