My friend Tristan and I have been fans of Master of Orion 2 for well over a decade at this point. Personally, the game is within my top three all time favorite games (also including Crusaders of the Dark Savant and Close Combat 2).
Anyways, a long time ago, we discovered that network multiplayer of MOO2 was deeply slow and sucky (like impossible to play for a protracted period of time). The games we have played against one another have either been hotseat or deeply time consuming and resulting in no real conclusion.
Well, no more. I finally got off my butt in regards to this issue this week and managed to get MOO2 running quite nicely in Dosbox. This resulted in us spending about 19 hours over the course of the last weekend playing the game the way it was meant to be played (to the bitter end of course, and several times over to boot)!
Anywho, this worked so well, that I am currently writing an NSIS installer which will pull all the necessary components off of the install CD, as well as properly configure DOSBOX such that nobody else needs to go through the decade long pain in the ass that we went through ever again.
Basically, what I have so far asks for the path to the install CD, copies the DOS only files to the HD, patches the game and sets up a local copy of dosbox to run it.
Later I will write a launcher which will get the dosbox environment running in some sort of sanitized location and execute various cli switches to configure the gameplay itself.
have you also tried to play online? Meeting point is the moo2 IRC channel on quakenet:
DOSBox Guide for MOO2 online