Routers and Firewalls

It is common for computers to be "behind" routers or be protected by firewalls.

Firewalls: vNet and internet multiplayer games use ports 2300-2400, 28800-29000 and 47400-47700 for communication. You will need to make these available to host or join a game. Note that this will result in limited exposure to malicious internet users and that you do so at your own risk.

Routers: since there are many different routers on the market, each with unique software controls, please consult your user manual for details. You will also need to have a network client installed in Windows networking. If you're having trouble, ask for help in the Hol2 Multiplayer subforum on Paradox's website.

least two additional steps to perform before you may begin play. One player will act as the "host" of the game and the other players will join as "guests". Up to nine additional players may join (Hol2 supports a maximum often players) and I would recommend that the player with the fastest and most stable connection be chosen for internet games, since this has a greater impact on performance than the host's computer specifications, If connection speeds are equal, then the host should be the player who has computer with the best performance. Only the host may select the scenario or saved game to be played and only the host may change the game options.

When you click the Multiplayer button on the initial menu you will be asked to specify the type of connection you wish to use (see sidebar) and to enter your name. Type your name in the space provided and then click the button that corresponds to the connection type you wish to use. Unless you are using Valkyrie net (vNet) you will then be asked whether you wish to host a game or join a game as a guest. Note that all players must be using the same version of the game (this is checked automatically when the connection is first established to ensure that there are no file discrepancies). I also recommend that you disable any non-essential software that might be running in the background on your computer as this will often affect stability.

The vNet connection will take you to a free service where players frequently meet to start new games. Since vNet supports all of Paradox's games, you will need to select the Hol2 channel from the channel listing which will take you to a chat location where you can arrange a new game.

Once you've found a few people to join, you must designate a host. Since vNet can be busy at times and some people have expressed a desire to be able to create "private" games, Hol2 new allows the host to set a password that must be entered to join a game. Once you're ready, the person who is hosting will click the Host button and type in a password. The other players will soon see the game listed and should select it and click Join and then type in the password when prompted. Establishing the connection will be handled by vNetforyou automatically. (Note: once you start the game the connection is handed off to the host and the game will disappear from the vNet list.)

Once you've established a connection, the main menu screen will appear, however you will notice a few differences. Saved games will new be found at the end of the scrollable list in the game selection are (area 1) and a listing of all players will now appear in the area at the bottom left of the screen (area 2). I hope that you never need to use it, but the host also has the ability to ban a guest from the game by highlighting the player's name and clicking the Ban button. On a more positive note, you are also able to chat with other players while viewing this screen by typing in the space below the narrow line in the log area of the screen (area 4).

The host may new select the scenario or saved game to be played. If a saved game is chosen, then there will be a brief pause as the game is compressed and then the transfer process will begin to send the save game file to the other players. You will see a status indicator beside each player's name, indicating whether the transfer is still in progress or whether it is complete. I strongly advise players to wait until everyone has completed this transfer before selecting countries, since this is a common source of subsequent problems. Most players who frequent vNet follow a protocol whereby all players wait until the host has confirmed that everyone has completed the save game download. The host will then select a nation which signals that it is safe for the guests to do so as well. I would also advise against using the Windows operating system's Alt+Tab facility during download as this will almost always cause the transfer to freeze or become corrupt. With a decent connection speed, this process shouldn't take very long and you can safely chat with one another while waiting.

You will notice that the game options submenu new allows you to change the Share Countries setting to "yes". This allows more than one player to select the same nation,

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