You ladies get to pick a color it seems, so one of you should just scream "white", so the game can start
Erebus, what were you planning to do with the King piece and hitting? If it's a checkmate, do you immediately get to "hit the king" with an available piece, or does the king receive one last move in vain?
8 players seems relatively easy. Each player controls one piece, and the pawn in front of that piece.
5 players, you could do:
Rook + pawns in front of rook and knight. (2x)
Knight + bishop + pawn in front of bishop. (2x)
Queen + pawns in front of king and queen.
Which leaves the king. Could leave that to the player that saw the least action, or maybe just whoever feels (or feel) up for it at the time.