With the games small fanbase, servers are hard to come by. If you are able to host (many people are unable to due to router problems) and do it fairly and frequently, you will be well loved by the community for many years to come.
Setting up a game
Setting up a game is relatively straight forward. Once Superpower 2 is loaded up, click "Multiplayer", then click "Host multiplayer game".
Giving the game a name is a must, as most "Superpower 2" games are made by the Koreans or others, and so few people will join them.
Many hosts choose to give their name to the server (e.g. Vasvatutin's server). This is a good idea, as if you are a frequent host people will recognize and join your server.
If you don't want to put your name, putting the host country or language is advisable instead (e.g. Euro server, english server, US server). Also if the server is to be a roleplay server, adding RP to the name will usually help to make sure you get the right sort of people in your server.
If you want to set up a private game with a few friends, or a game with special rules it is recommended you add a password. Just be sure to make a steam discussion with the password included, or tell your friends the password, otherwise nobody can join.
Nukes can make or break a server. You must give careful consideration to whether or not nukes will be permitted. It is of course a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy seeing Cold War like situations develop, then turn them on. Be warned however, that when nukes are enabled, the game almost always ends with vast swathes of them being sent everywhere.
Turning nukes off may be detrimental to realism, but it does make for a more fair and balanced game. Some admins may take the middle path and allow the use of nukes as a last resort only (when most of the country is occupied), and victims are usually allowed to strike back in retaliation.
It is recommended to keep these off, as if one if reached, the game will end. It is useful if you want to challenge your friends on who can do which of the goals the fastest.
Autosave (found in the game options screen) should be turned on. Saving at intervals of 10 minutes or so tends to be good. This is to make sure that the game can continue if it lags out, or crashes for any reason. Also, if the game is ruined by a random nuker, it can be reloaded.
Rules of the server
Deciding on your rules should be the next step. All servers need to have rules, because of the way the game was designed. Rules should aim to keep realism, and keep the game flowing steadily. They should also be neutral in that they do not benefit some countries more than others, although there are a few exceptions that prevent potential game-breaking situations.
- GTM0 - Global Tax Mod. This should always be limited to 0. A bug in the designing of the game means that this does not function as it should - instead of setting all sector taxes at the same value, GTM imposes its own tax. It results in stupidly high income with no adverse effect on the economy.
- PIT - Personal Income Tax. Some hosts decide to limit this for realism purposes. Most people limit it to 75%, though some may say 90% and a few say 50%. It is up to your own judgement, as it affects pretty much everyone in the same way.
- Sec - Sector Tax. Similar to GTM, upping sector tax to ridiculous levels does not have nearly the effect on production as it should do. Limited at most to 40%, usually 35% or sometimes down to 20%. Between 20% and 40% is a good range to limit sector tax to. Also, having a minimum of 1% sector tax is sometimes useful as it prevents countries from boosting production massively at 0% tax.
- CM - Spamming Common Market treaties with developing nations leaves an unbalanced server, as countries with higher economic strength will get stronger and stronger, whereas the smaller countries will never match up. Limiting CMs to 2 or 3 is advisible. However, limiting members of these CMs is also useful. 2 CMs with a maximum of 3 members each is a good idea to maintain balance.
- Market Flooding - This tends to be done with players of the United States. It involves mass investing in all sectors, maintaining a monopoly on all world trade as their economic strength doesn't drop below anyone elses. Merely saying "no market flooding" tends to dissuade people from doing it.
- Assume my debt. This treaty should be limited to players only. Rich computer countries can accept large amounts of player's debt after heavy investment resulting in incredibly fast growth without any debt payments.
- Naval rule - Foolishly, the need for naval superiority before landing was not implemented into the game, although some mods add it. Declaring the naval rule means that in order to cross a body of water, you need ships there. Also, there must be no enemy ships in the way. This rule increases realism, and gives navies a purpose. The Steam 1.5.1 version has this rule activated by default.
- Occupation rules - Sometimes used to add realism. These basically just give guidelines for occupying an enemy country. Usually they say to occupy realistically, and not just place 1 unit in a region, as this could never keep control, and all units cannot park while they're on occupied territories ("Ready" or "Fortified" commands only).
- No occupy territory - As it says on the box. The occupy territory command is very unrealistic, so hosts may choose to ban using it.
- Nukes - Rules described earlier.
- Unit stacking rule - Can be used to greatly increase game's realism and balance. This means that players cannot spam units by stacking the entire army in one fight. It is often limited to 5-6 brigades in a single battle.
- Realistic names/treaties - This ensures that there isn't a plethora of "Alliance - Jordan" "Alliance - Jordan (1)" etc. flowing from a player. The same is true for military vehicles - no offensive or rude names.
- VTA - Vote To Annex. This is the big one. Nearly every server will have this rule in some form. Basically, if you want to annex a country, you have to gain a majority vote with other players. This can be implemented as Vote to Annex all, or vote to annex non neighbours. The former tends to be chosen for more peaceful games, whereas the latter makes for more interesting ones. However, other rules could be chosen. A good idea is to have a time limit for annexing. VTA unless occupied for 3 year. With this rule, if the inital vote fails, then the country wanting to annex would just have to wait 3 years until his ways and people have seeped into the conquered nation enough, then can annex it formally.
- VTB - Vote To Buy. Pretty similar to VTA. If you wish to trade land, you must vote to do it. This normally doesn't apply to Player - Player trading. Buying technology isn't counted in this rule.
- Roleplay - Used by most hosts. Everyone must declare what they are doing, although minor things such as tax changes can often be overlooked. Depending on your attitudes towards roleplay, you can either say "Roleplay everything" or just "Roleplay". By just saying "Roleplay" you get the people who do go all out, and the people who occasionally say one liners. It is up to you what to do with such people.
- Empire - Rarer than RP, empire is where countries focus on making an empire (as the name suggests). You can choose to have pure empire, which will be like a normal singleplayer game but with players, or a mix RP - empire server, where RP is relaxed in favor for expanding influence and borders.
China is a very important country in the game. With the largest population, it has the potential of the worlds largest GDP and highest economic strength. If it grows too fast, it can cause hell for the rest of the world's economy. Therefore, usually there are specific rules regarding China.
- China remains State Controlled - This slows the economic boom of China, as production increases slower and there is less money to play with.
- Chinese population growth - Some hosts may also say that China can only have a limited overall population growth (usually 2-3%). This prevents China from changing laws to massively boost the population, and have a ridiculously oversized economy in the later game.
India is similar to China in that it is a quickly developing, very large country. The host may decide to have India state controlled, and have a population growth limit in place just like China. It is up to you.
As the host, it is up to you to keep the others in line. This should be done by threatening to, and by, kicking people who break the rules.
However, you should never let the power get to your head. Always rule with a fair hand. If you make the rules, you'd better follow them too. The Superpower 2 society doesn't stand for a cheating host, and many would rather have no server than one led by a corrupt host. If you start abusing your power and don't follow your own rules, people will drop. And you will be left alone.