Although we've mentioned it in the news a few times, I've run across a number of people recently that didn't know about HCl's patch that allows fans to finally play Wing Commander Armada online with each other. Here's a summary of the different things you need to know to get started.
Armada can be installed and played in Windows XP with DOSBox. Instructions on how to install and configure Armada can be found here. To play Armada, expanded memory must be set to ems=false in the dosbox.conf file, and ipx=false must also be changed to ipx=true before playing online. Specific configuration methods depend on your system and the version of Armada you begin with. Once the game is running for you, follow these steps to upgrade your game to play online.
Visit the Tech Support Forum or #Wingnut if you get stuck or need to find an opponent.
- Download the joystick/ipx patch for Armada and Proving Grounds and unzip it into your Armada directory. This will change the execution command from Armada to Armadadb (and pg to pgdb). You should test the game to see if it loads and you can play. DOSBox will probably need to be increased to around 6000 cycles (Control+F12) in order for the game to run smoothly. Calibrate the joystick by pressing ALT+O. This is the same patch that is required to use joysticks in single player Armada in DOSBox.
- Download the DOSBox netbios patch and unzip it to the DOSBox directory. Back up the old dosbox.exe file, and rename HCL's executable to dosbox.exe. You will use this new file when running DOSBox.
- If you have a router, you will probably need to forward port 213 to the computer you'll be playing on. Check the instruction manual or manufacturer's website if you've never done something like this before. The process varies depending on the router's brand. Make sure UDP data is being forwarded.
- Find someone else to play from the Forums or #Wingnut. One player will have to type "ipxnet startserver" in DOSBox. The player types "ipxnet connect IP" with the IP address of the other player in place of IP. Both players start Armadadb, go to Multiplayer and select Net Play. After inputting callsigns, the players should see each other in the username pane. Use the in-game buttons and commands to select your game type and play!