I'm going to go with "let's role play your future henchman" for the next few sessions of my ACKS game, as it keeps anyone from being left behind, and keeps the core party from taking undo risks while short. Yep, juggling the summer vacation blues.
We also have encountered a scheduling conflict with one of our regulars - I need to see if the group is able to change the game night to keep things rolling, or if we need to adjust to a slightly smaller core group of PCs (and players). I hate losing players, especially when the group hits well on all cylinders and everyone riffs pretty well of each other. Just like adding someone new to a group can change the chemistry, losing someone from the group can do the same.
Now I have to whip up an adventure for a party of 3 newbs, without knowing the classes that will be comprising the party makeup. It's going to be a challenge balancing out the challenge ;)