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I run a TF2 server, and I've noticed a problem in that there is maybe only one map I have in rotation that is suitable when only a few people are on the server. It's a dodgeball map, and I'd rather not have that be the gameplay that is the default for an idle server. Aside from that and one zombie map, the rotation pulls from the stock Valve maps. Are there any generally well received maps out there that aren't of a weird gametype that are well suited for fewer people? If I've overlooked a stock map, that would be ideal, but I'm wide open to suggestions.

Edit: I'm referring to maybe 6 or fewer total players here.

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Can you quantify few people? more 6 or more 12? –  Drake Dec 7 '10 at 16:47
    
Per team or total? –  Raven Dreamer Dec 7 '10 at 18:02
    
I wrote my answer assuming you mean 6 players total. If you meant 6 on each side @Drake's answer is probably the best. –  Bruce Connor Dec 9 '10 at 18:34
    
I will probably get yelled at so hard for this but...2Fort is actually a good small-groups map. –  Zibbobz Dec 12 '13 at 21:37
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6 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you don't mind playing as a sniper, Sniper Paintball RC1 scales down well.

However, why not just enable bots?

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I can't believe I didn't think of adding some bots. That is exactly what I'm looking for - giving people something to do while waiting on more to show up. –  DHayes Dec 17 '10 at 21:28
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Arena and King of the Hill game types are well hosted on maps which are not that big and have overall acceptance.

I would suggest Watchtower, Sawmill, and Lumberyard.

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Harvest is also pretty good. –  Zibbobz Dec 13 '13 at 16:18
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We used to have frequent TF2 LAN Parties and our preferred maps, suitable for 10-14 people are:

Official Maps

  • ctf_turbine
  • cp_dustbowl
  • koth_nucleus

Not-Official Maps

These are maps we enjoyed a lot. They are 2 years old but I hope they are still compatible with the current release of TF2

  • cp_science (there is also cp_science2)
  • cp_labor

In addition to that I suggest to reduce the standard respawn time, to increase the fun factor.

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Given a total of 6 players on the server, King of the Hill and Arena are the modes with the smallest maps (like Bora mentioned). Arena is not extremely popular, so if your server switches to it from another mode there's a good chance that 3 of your 6 players will leave (which, in turn, might cause the other 3 to leave as well).

Since you only run stock. The best I can suggest is (in this specific order):

  • koth_nucleus
  • koth_harvest

None of these are among my favourite koths, but they have the shortest run from spawn. nucleus is the shorter of the two, which probably makes it the best option.

There are other tips already mentioned, like reducing spawn time and switching all_talk on. There are server mods that do these automatically when the server has less than x players on.

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A favorite custom map among my clan is ctf_mach4 and ctf_mercy, both by a fantastic mapper named VilePickle.

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+1 for Mach4. I tried to suggest it in an answer myself, but could not for the life of me find a link to somewhere to download the map. –  Raven Dreamer Dec 9 '10 at 20:56
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As Dave M. said, several of my maps are suited for smaller servers. Mach, Mercy, and Chaos are all made for smaller groups. You can see all of my maps at http://www.vilepickle.com/creations/maps

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