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Subject: Contact and Sweep -- Design question. rss

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(Mr.) Kim Beattie
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Rocklin
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I think I understand what a radar contact is, but what does a sweep result mean? My apologies if this addressed in the rule book - I didn't see it.

Seems like a sweep result is often more useful than a contact result.
 
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Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
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kimbo wrote:
I think I understand what a radar contact is, but what does a sweep result mean? My apologies if this addressed in the rule book - I didn't see it.

Seems like a sweep result is often more useful than a contact result.


To be honest, this game mechanic is not very historical. I have designed for flavour rather than history. My aim was to create a single game mechanism that would encompass everything from Freya-AN (interpreting range and azimuth information) to those PPI top-down plots of a recognisably modern kind.

So terms like 'Contact' and 'Sweep' can be deceptive and we should be careful of assigning real-world mappings to them.

Looking at historical radar use, these early radars were imprecise and there was an art to reading scopes. In the case of Freya-AN it involved judging the size of a cathode ray spike to one or either side of a range scope. Getting plots was something of a black art.

So while Contact and Sweep could be vaguely interpreted as the totality of range and azimuth information available to the fighter controller, they really do not map to real-world practice. What the mechanic does in the game is:

(a) Capture some of the delay time involved in getting a good fix, and

(b) Give a sense of some of the impreciseness and human fallibility in figuring out a fix.
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Antero Kuusi
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At least I think both of the results as "controller's interpretation of the radar scope".

But to the usefulness of the "sweep" result, it's really depends on Umpire's placement of the sweep markers. The rules on placing the marker mean that there's actually a 120-degree range where the bomber can be based on the sweep marker - and the rules give almos always at least two options for the Umpire for the sweep marker placement. It's up to him to position them as uninformatively and deceptionally as possible.

If the Umpire places the sweep markers without any thought of making it more difficult for player, then the sweep results are easily more useful. But if he places them so that they yield as little additional information as possible to player, then the contacts are usually the main source of information - unless the player is really good or lucky.
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