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I’m wondering about the numbering of the spaces on the Expert Player Mat. Specifically, I’m wondering about the numbering of the central district as “4”. Was this done with purpose? Is this trying to compensate for something in the tile selection? To my best understanding, I would have swapped the district labels of “3” and “4”.
I understand that the Architect 3 is “degenerate” (in the mathematical sense). It can point to only 9 spaces on the Construction Site, and is the only architect that can point to the center space (3,3). All the other architects can point to 16 spaces. Therefore, I view the 3 as special, with more constrained options, so I look to place it earlier in a round.
Architects 2 and 4 are complementary, able to point to the same space from opposite sides of the Construction Site. Architects 1 and 5 are complementary. Architect 3 is its own complement.
(In the Classic game, without Architect 5, Architect 1 is the only architect that can point to the corners, but can still point to 16 spaces).
So, as best as I can figure, I would have labeled District 4 as “3” and labeled 3 as “4”. It would have highlighted 3 as a special district, and it would have created a nice symmetry between the square districts and their associated numbered spaces in the center district. It perhaps would have encouraged some competition over the Architect 3.
Or maybe it does not really matter.
What are your thoughts about the numbering on the Expert Mat? Is there a good reason for it?
I would argue it doesn't matter. There is 5 regions on your mat and each region contains all the numbers 1-5. So region 3 in the expert mode is made up of squares 1, 2, 4 and 5. Region 4 is made up of squares 1, 2, 3 and 5. Which means there is equal flexibility in where you put any tile. You also have flexibility in terms of which numbers you use (assuming they aren't gone). So while the 3 tile is "degenerate' according to what tile you can grab, it's not in terms of where that tile can be played.