Ranked choice with 4-5 options doesn't really seem to work / can be easily gamed with 4-5 voters. What options give the best way to ensuring more people are happy with the result?
For small groups, the 'best' system of arriving at a choice isn't voting at all. Rather, this is where you should turn to things like negotiated consensus
Where the line between negotiating a consensus vs. reverting to elections makes sense depends on the issues and cultures in play - but basically if it would be reasonable to have a discussion among all stakeholders, negotiation is always going to yield a better result.
As you note, voting systems can be gamed and weird outcomes become more prevalent and likely when you stress democracy's main philosophical underpinning, the law of large numbers, which holds that you can drown out noise - even malfeasance - by simply gathering a large enough sample.
Negotiation, however, is purpose built to foil bad actors (or at least make them obvious to their peers), and confront bizarre outcomes, by focusing on the circumstantial specifics.