The game was developed by Mad Doc Software, released by Activision on 16.11.2001. After a law suit 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 works on without problems. Same goes for Windows 10.
Although the game let's you set higher resolutions than 1280×960, the only available hiher resolution 1600×1200 is known to additionally squeeze the image vertically (by adding black bars on top and bottom), so that it looks even more stretched than 4:3 resolutions on 16:9 screens normally do. So actually the highest usable resolution (at least under Windows 10 2004) is 1280×960. This limitation does not apply for Fleet Ops
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).
Cheats are accessible only in the single player campaign. When pressing
Enter, the chat console opens (just like it would in multiplayer). When entering one of the following text snippets, the corresponding effect is triggered:
| ||Improved ship AI, ships are more independet|
| ||Looses mission instantly.|
| ||Instantly finishes mission successfully.|
| ||Adds 2000 Dilithium to the players resources.|
| ||Accelerates crew gain|
| ||Enter Gamma quadrant|
| ||The enemies science vessels vanish.|
| ||Accelerates ship construction.|
This mod 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 dilithium moons. Only the Borg have a different gameplay than the other races and 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. The sensor stations capable of discovering cloaked ships do this in regular intervals instead of continuously. 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.
Armada 2 and FleetOps maps both use BZN-files as maps but are not compatible to on another. Here's an idea what happens when you use maps the wrong way around (assuming the relevant ODFs were copied):
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.