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"Origin of the term cheat sheets" Topic

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Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 9:29 p.m. PST

I was in the hobby about six years when I first heard the term "cheat sheets" referring to charts and tables. Where did this term originate? Who first coined the term?

It always struck me as odd that charts and tables which every set of rules I know of has. That you need to play the rules, would be referred to as cheating. How did that come about?

x42brown08 Nov 2018 9:59 p.m. PST

It was in use 1970 for the WRG ancients rlules. I've not heard of their cheat sheets referenced to any other way.


Edit:- I believe it was that they were separate sheets from the rule books and the times saved in searching the rule book was a cheat.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 11:18 p.m. PST

When I was growing up such a sheet in school was called a cheat sheet – a compact reference with all the verbs or formulas or dates you'd need for a test

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2018 12:37 a.m. PST

Now that you mention it I remember that from High School. Not that I did anything like that, you understand.

FusilierDan09 Nov 2018 5:12 a.m. PST

From Webster;
1 : a sheet containing information (such as test answers) used secretly for cheating. 2 : a written or graphic aid (such as a sheet of notes) that can be referred to for help in understanding or remembering something complex.

Crib sheet from FreeDictionary
1. (Education) a sheet containing notes, etc, on a particular subject, used as a study aid
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) such a sheet used to grasp a complex topic quickly, esp used in preparation for a public discussion or debate on the topic: Backbenchers working from crib sheets steered the debate..
3. such a sheet used to cheat in a test or examination

JimSelzer Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2018 1:52 p.m. PST

its what we used to use to cheat on school tests transferred to wargaming duty

Chris Wimbrow09 Nov 2018 6:11 p.m. PST

Agreed on the surreptitious use of notes in school for many decades. I had one university class in which we were allowed a 3" x 5" card with anything on it for the final exam. I managed to reduce every note I had taken enough to fit on the front and back of copier paper cut down to meet the size criterion.

By the time I went through that, I had it all pretty well memorized anyway.

But in gaming it is the perfectly fair use of a custom streamlined version of the rules, sequence of play, exceptions to be looked up, etc.

Much of it can be just a copy of what's in the rules that's easier to use without flipping pages. The only cheating involved is taking your own faulty memory out of play.

I'm fascinated by what might be on the charts that NFL (professional American football) coaches consult on the sidelines.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Nov 2018 9:55 a.m. PST

I concur that the term has origins that significantly predate modern tabletop wargaming.

von Schwartz30 Dec 2018 9:56 a.m. PST

Extra crispy and rally now, You guys remember high school???

RudyNelson30 Dec 2018 11:37 a.m. PST

When I started playing in the 1970s, all rules had summary sheets. All of the rules I designed in the 1980s had them. I used to make them the inside front and back covers so they could be copied.

EC is right about school cheat sheets but we also used and taught the use of summary sheets in school. It is easier to study 2-4 pages of notes several times before a test than lumbering through 20+ pages only once.

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