The game was developed by Mad Doc Software, released by Activision on 16.11.2001. After some disputes with Paramount (represented by Viacom) Activision returned the license for Star Trek games in general. For this reason, Armada 2 and the other Star Trek Games from Activision will no longer be distributed. Therefore the game is not available at GOG or other retailers. Therefore, only the second-hand trade remains, e.g. via eBay or Amazon Market Place. The ISO image still can be found on the net.
As always: Install, patch and if necessary copy crack over. The crack for version 1.1 also works with version 1.2.5, because the community patch does not change the original binary. The Mod Fleet Ops doesn't work with the cracked binary. The current version (3.2.7) crashes with it. So, for Fleet Ops you need the original CD again. Under Win 7 you have to activate the XP compatibility mode, otherwise the game crashes. With the 1.2.5er patch however only a corresponding notification appears, but it goes on without problems.
Essentially, Armada 2 is like Armada 1, but with some innovations regarding the tactical part. The two most important innovations are Warp (most ships can be moved very fast to free areas of the map, but not near planets), Planets as population source and metal source and new resource machanics: Metal and Latinum can be mined, the latter from corresponding nebulae. Latinum is needed for research items and can be converted into dilithium or metal via the trading station. The trading stations create additional Latinum when merchant ships pass between them. In addition, research is no longer limited to special weapons and abilities. All five ship systems can also be upgraded (propulsion, shields, weapons, sensors, life support).
Requires the original binary, either from CD or pre-installed. The game is installed as a standalone, so it doesn't change an existing Armada 2 installation. As mentioned above, the original CD is needed to play the game again, because the cracked binary crashes the mod. The concept of Fleet Ops is very similar to Armada 2. The warp has been removed, but there are metal and dilitium moons. Only the Borg have a different gameplay than the other races or the original. Instead of the Tachyon ability, which uncovers cloaked ships immediately, there is now a kind of ping, which shows the positions on the whole map. But the most obvious difference is in the available units, sounds and graphics that are used. Compared to the original Fleet Ops is much less playful. But very lovingly designed. Especially the new race Dominion is an enrichment. But the Cardassians and species 8472 have been removed.
Fleet Ops can be played via VPN but also with direct IP. The ports required for NAT forwarding are (TCP & UDP respectively): 2302 - 2400, 6073, 3040, 3056, 3057, 6500, 6667, 13139, 16499, 29701.