Disabling Sound, in-game
In the classic version of Warcraft 2 (version 1.0 - 1.5) you could disable the sound by simply pressing alt-s. The only thing this ever seemed to do for the game, was make players thing that disabling the sound sped up the game play (good work people). But disabling sound caused game messages such as 'building destroyed' to be displayed at the bottom of the screen instead. And because of a little bug in the game you could actually disable the sound at some points for strategic advantages. It works because when your sound is disabled, you the 'building destroyed' message when any player's building is destroyed OR cancelled.
For example, I used to disable the sound at the start of any High Seas Combat game. Once I get my mill up I carefully watch the messages at the bottom of the screen. If I got a 'Building Destroyed' message that wasn't done by me or my ally, then we knew that a player just hopped across a river, and that we should check our islands for enemy buildings.
Fixed for BNE?
In the Battle Net Edition of Warcraft 2, Blizzard redisigned the way the sound setup (f7) was layed out. Now you have several check-boxes that disabled specific sounds, and you have a choice of the game messages appearing at all. Having this different setup (I assume they stole the coding from starcraft) seems to have disabled this little 'cheat' that you could use. Now disabling all the sound options in War2BNE and enabling the game messages to appear at the bottom of the screen, does not do anything to help you. If an enemy cancels a building, the 'Building Destroyed' message does not go to all of the players, but only the players that have vision of the building that is being cancelled.
In the example on the right, I get the message because SC~Nostradomus has me ally-visioned (he is the orange dot in the top right area of the minimap). If he were to disable the ally-vision, and cancel a building again, I would not get the message that you see at the bottom of my screen. Again, it makes me wonder how something like this got fixed for War2BNE while other more obvious problems were left in the game. I bet they fixed this without even realizing it.
-Thanks to Lou, SC~Nos