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Subject: Minor board error? rss

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Nathan Markley
United States
Missouri
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I was looking over the Clans board today, and I noticed what might be a minor error in the printing. While the board looks complex because of its art (a brilliant work), its design is fairly simple and largely mirrored corner to corner -- except in one spot.

In the image I've posted below, the steppe indicated by the arrow touches five regions, while the mirrored mountain region in the lower right touches six. I believe the issue is in the circled regions. The lower right mountain touches forest, grass, forest on either side of the lakes. The mirrored steppe, however, touches grass, forest, grass on one side and on the other side, grass, forest... lake (the other forest is cut off).

I don't think this affects game play much at all. I just found it curious. Anyone have thoughts on why this might be? An accident?

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Caleb
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Seminole
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I think I see Mother Theresa. Or the Virgin Mary.

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Tony Bosca
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Royal Oak
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kudo's for noticing that. I've noticed the mirrored quality of the board but never really thought to try and break it down abstractly to look for differences. I wonder if it was intentional or if it occurred as part of the art design aspect of the game. I wonder what the proto-type board looked like...
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Edward Jamer
Canada
Fredericton
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Nice catch. I think that the slight irregularity would only add to the game... a feature instead of an error. But it's such a subtle imbalance that I hadn't actually noticed before.
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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But that's not the only irregularity/asymmetry, in fact!

E.g. note the 4 center regions: 3 of them (mountain, forest, desert) have 5 neighbors, but the 4th (the lower left grass in the center) has 6 neighbors.

I see some other harder to describe "anomalies" also.

Basically on the outside, the map looks regular: you have corners that each connect to 3 regions, and each of those connects to 4, and tracing between the outermost 4 in those corner 4-4-4 triples, you see 5-3-3-5. In other words, the outside perimeter is like 4 connected copies of:

3
/|\
...-4-4-4-5-3-3-5-...


But working inward from that, there are multiple deviations from a regular pattern.

---

Of course the game could be played on any nontrivial graph and be interesting, so I don't see a reason to call it an error that the connections don't form a simple regular pattern!
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Tony Bosca
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Royal Oak
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russ wrote:
But that's not the only irregularity/asymmetry, in fact!

E.g. note the 4 center regions: 3 of them (mountain, forest, desert) have 5 neighbors, but the 4th (the lower left grass in the center) has 6 neighbors.

I see some other harder to describe "anomalies" also.

Basically on the outside, the map looks regular: you have corners that each connect to 3 regions, and each of those connects to 4, and tracing between the outermost 4 in those corner 4-4-4 triples, you see 5-3-3-5. In other words, the outside perimeter is like 4 connected copies of:

3
/|\
...-4-4-4-5-3-3-5-...


But working inward from that, there are multiple deviations from a regular pattern.

---

Of course the game could be played on any nontrivial graph and be interesting, so I don't see a reason to call it an error that the connections don't form a simple regular pattern!


Oh my aren't we observant! Im jealous of your pattern recognition skills Russ!

On the board, I could think of some half-baked personal comments on why it might be beneficial to have the "irregularity". I've learned to come to appreciate these little consistencies in games as nuances either too subtle to fully appreciate, or very much intentional and beyond the scope of my understanding/strategic mind. Even if the board was intended to by symmetric, I think due to the nature and simplicity of the game it adds to the unique board shape. I just picked up König von Siam and I really dig trying to comprehend the different border qualities of the map.
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Nathan Markley
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russ wrote:
Of course the game could be played on any nontrivial graph and be interesting, so I don't see a reason to call it an error that the connections don't form a simple regular pattern!


I agree with you that "error" probably isn't the best word. Perhaps "anomaly" is better. I suppose I mostly wonder whether or not the anomalies were intentional. If not, it doesn't really take away from game play. If it was intentional, however, I wonder what brilliant mind tweaked the board slightly and for what reason. It has piqued my curiosity!

And good eye on the center grass territory.
 
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