}

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I couldn't find a how-to on doing this so I figured I'd write up a little bit so that in the future folks might have an easier time doing it.

Anyway, one of the neat things about the 1.40 patch is that it adds the ability to turn on and off certain micro-mods. Here is a quick list of command line options and what they do:

/skipintro Skips the intro movie.

/nowh No wormholes are generated on new maps

/nobh No black holes are generated on new maps

/noorion Orion and Guardian are not generated on new maps

/noreport The report button on the diplomacy screen will be disabled preventing you from seeing what technology your opponent has. Also, Technology demands and trades are greyed out.

/droids All players start out with the ability to build androids (all 3 types).

/minstart The unoccupied planet closest to the sun in all home systems will be at least 2 production per worker and its gravity will match that of the homeworld.

/hugestart The unoccupied planet closest to the sun in all home systems will be huge and its gravity will match that of the homeworld.

/richstart The unoccupied planet closest to the sun in all home systems will be rich and its gravity will match that of the homeworld (this switch is ignored if /goodstart is used).

/goodstart The unoccupied planet closest to the sun in all home systems will be Ultra Rich and its gravity will match that of the homeworld.

/nosplint No splinter worlds unless there is a monster guarding it.

/planets=num Sets the minimum number of planets in all home systems to num. This value includes the home world. Valid values are 2-5 (default is 2). If you try a value outside of the valid range it will use the default.

/picks = num Sets the starting race picks points to num. Valid values are 10-14 (default is 10). If you try a value outside of the valid range it will use the default. Note: some screens in the game only show the first 11 race picks (it is possible to pick more than 11).

/nonebula When used the map is generated without any nebulas.

/nohousing The housing option will no longer be available from the build list so housing production will not be possible. Also, this switch adds +150% bonus to population growth. The bonus will be added into the growth formula exactly the same way that the bonus from universal antidote is.

/noscan This switch will disable the scan button in combat so that detailed scans of ships will no longer be possible. Only quick scans will be possible by mousing over the ships.

NOTE: the switches /minstart, /hugestart, /richstart, and /goodstart all effect the same planet. The effect is cumulative. These switches ONLY EFFECT ONE PLANET. ALL OTHERS ARE COMPLETELY RANDOM.

As an example I have my game set up: /goodstart /nowh /hugestart /nosplint /planets=5 /skipintro
Because of this when I start MoO2 the intro movie is skipped and when I start a new game there are no wormholes, no splinter colonies that are not protected by monsters, and all of the races starting systems start with 5 planets with the innermost planet being an Ultra-Rich Huge planet that has the same gravity as the race.

I feel that these options decrease a lot of the randomness in the game by giving all of the races an equal footing and a very powerful home system.

Anyway, so how do you actually use these command line settings? Well, go to your Master of Orion 2 folder and find the file named dosboxMOO2_single. Open that file with a text editor and you should see something like this:

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.

@ECHO OFF
mount C "..\Master of Orion 2"
c:
cls
orion2.exe
exit

Edit this file to add the command line switches by placing the switches after the orion2.exe statement. Here is what my dosboxMOO2_single file looks like:

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.

@ECHO OFF
mount C "..\Master of Orion 2"
c:
cls
orion2.exe /goodstart /nowh /hugestart /nosplint /planets=5 /skipintro
exit

Save this file and the command line mods will trigger when you start a new game.
These instructions look like they'll work great for a windows install; any idea how to apply them to a Mac install?
There is just one problem with the command line switches - they don't seem to affect the CPU players. At least not all of the different lines. I tried "no tech trading" and the AIs still happily offered me tech trades, so I assume they will do it among each other, too. So this seems to be rather a tool for MP - or to create yourself a extra challenge in SP. Just don't expect that the rules are fair between you and the AI, I guess.