would it break the game to go counterclockwise? It seems that the production spots are symmetric, and the village spots are as well. Seems like an easy enough house rule that would be even more intuitive than having the orders cards 'backwards'
I agree that the board is symmetric either way you go, but if some players go clockwise and others go counterclockwise, that's just too much mental overhead, for me anyway. The reason is that a good portion of the game is figuring out how many moves you need to fulfill orders and how many moves your opponents have to do the same, assuming that you have a decent idea of what cards they hold. With everyone going in the same direction, this is much easier. I turn my secret order cards upside down in my hand and the open orders upside down in the market from my position when I play on the opposite side of the board-so everything is in the same direction.