Originally posted by Naytch:
Is it posible to play w/out labels? I mean, keeping track of your flight and other flights, especially ground targets and stuff? Any tips on how to keep the SA up so as to be able to play without labels?
I play without labels, always have.
I'm a newbie myself, so I don't know all, but I play without labels. For air targets, I use the radio a lot.
I use the radio commands to know where my wingmen / package / flight are (you can ask them to give you their position). This gives me a rough picture of where my friendlies are.
I also radio the AWACS to ask them if a radar contact is friendly or not - use the "declare" command when you have bugged (tracked) a target in your radar. Usually the AWACS replies that it is friendly or not. You may also ask the AWACS to give you a "Request picture", which gives the position of the nearest hostile aircraft. Sometimes the AWACS is not available or unable to give a precise answer, but that's the fog of war for you....
It is also possible to use the radio to call the plane you just bugged: The command is called "Raygun". The bugged plane should respond with something like "Buddy spike", if friendly. (This radio procedure I haven't tried yet.)
The radio commands is in the manual, page 452 onwards.
Edit: It is also possible to radio the awacs for vectors to your (ground) target, and to the nearest airborne threat. Se the manual, page 452 onwards.
Edit II: Here's an excellent tutorial on the use of radar: http://www.users.bigpond.com/harries/Reference/Technique/tech/RadarTutorial.html
This helped me a lot, trying to use the radar properly, thus increasing my SA tenfold!
Since I am a newbie myself, I hope that other more experienced pilots will supplement my answers. I hope I could help a little bit at least... :-)