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"People Say MODULAR When They Really Mean SECTIONAL?" Topic

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637 hits since 29 Dec 2017
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2017 6:53 a.m. PST

Just curious …

I hear and read the word "modular" quite a lot these days from people who are making terrain boards.

But often the sections of terrain board they are making aren't meant to be laid down in multiple configurations. They only fit in ONE specific sequence and are in sections solely for the sake of portability and storage.

So, seeing as how the pieces of board aren't interchangeable and can't be reconfigured in multiple ways, would "sectional" be the right term then?



JimDuncanUK29 Dec 2017 7:33 a.m. PST

I have a set of 16 'modular' rectangular boards for a science fiction game.

Depending on the scenario they are arranged in a 4x4 grid or sometimes 5x3 grid.

Any one long edge will fit any other long edge as will any short edge to any other short edge.

There are innumerable combinations.

I don't know of anyone who deliberately makes boards that only fit one way although some like river boards may have less options.

I've never heard anyone use the term 'sectional'.

RudyNelson29 Dec 2017 8:02 a.m. PST

I always thought modular meant the main pieces were the same size and could be plugged in at any point. Sectional refers to many different pieces of different sizes.

I just went furniture shopping with my wife two weeks ago and a guy used both terms. A sectional set had several pieces of different sizes that could be arranged in various ways. Then he showed me a theatre style recliner that could be added onto up to seven across. That he called modular.
I have heard them used and miss used as you have.
In regatrds to terrain boards I got several boxes of modular terrain hexes into the store. I think modular is correct for the set as all pieces are the same size and shape.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2017 8:06 a.m. PST

The distinction seems valid, but I can't find it in dictionaries, where "sectional" means other things. It would be somewhat longer, but perhaps clearer, to say that Joe has built six modular terrain pieces, while Sam has built a terrain board which breaks down into six pieces for transport.

Jim, you may have missed the best example. I believe Bruce Weigle's boards for his Wars of German Unification games are normally constructed just as Dan has described--multiple pieces which, assembled at the convention, are a single unique historical battlefield. Worth seeing if you get the chance to attend an HMGS-East convention, and I bought a set of his rules purely for the chapter on how he makes the boards, which are truly a work of art.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2017 8:32 a.m. PST

I've seen terrain boards for the Normandy landing that were a set of three tiles, and they had to be laid down in a specific sequence or the coastline and heights would not match up.

Yet the fella kept referring to them as "modular" terrain tiles. The only reason they were in three sections was for ease in transport.


coryfromMissoula29 Dec 2017 8:54 a.m. PST

Modular does not automatically imply interconenctability.

God knows that some folks have tried it with modular homes though.

MajorB29 Dec 2017 10:07 a.m. PST

constructed with standardized units or dimensions for flexibility and variety in use

Chris Wimbrow29 Dec 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

Wikipedia says PanzerBlitz gameboards are isomorphic while the Squad Leader family always seems to use the term geomorphic. Model railroaders (generally in the smaller HO or N scales) can choose to build one or more modules with specifications for how they connect, but not necessarily in the same order every time, to make a large display oval for occasional club events. And the pieces of track for a home train set or slot car track are referred to as sectional.

It seems we are doomed to use the words with additional context.

Lunar Excursion Module, anyone?

Borderguy19030 Dec 2017 8:34 p.m. PST

Are you talking about my Normandy boards CC? I have three boards that, yes, must be arranged in a particular manner to set right. Though, 2 of them plus a yet un-built board could make a 2nd configuration. I wasn't sure I ever posted pics here though.

And if I called them modular, it wasn't meaning they were 100% modular. Lol

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2017 8:41 p.m. PST

Lol. I don't think I've ever seen your boards.


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