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When a player reaches an island by ship, the hex they "land on" gets a production number. However, if the computer has run out of new production numbers to assign, the production number for the newly-reached island hex is taken from a hex in the mainland (i.e now a hex in the mainland has no production number).

When this happens, the computer lets you pick which number from the mainland you want to take to the island. I would like to know how the game decides which choices to give you. It doesn't always let you pick from all of the hexes you currently occupy on the mainland.

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The rules are given at Catan Maps (and I believe somewhere in app, but I don't have it installed at the moment):

After setting up the board as shown, set aside the following four number tokens, shuffled in a face-down pile: 3, 5, 8, 9, 10

[...]

As soon as a player’s ship reaches the intersection of a terrain hex belonging to one of the small islands, a number token is assigned to this hex. The first 5 number tokens are taken randomly from the face down supply.

Once the supply is used up, the player whose turn it is must remove a number token from the main island. At first, only number tokens are available that obey the following 3 rules:

  1. The number token must belong to a terrain hex adjacent to which the active player owns a settlement or city.
  2. Each settlement or city on the main island must keep at least one terrain hex with a number token.
  3. On a small island, the numbers 6 and 8 must not be next to each other.

If it is not possible to comply with all three rules, you may break the rules in consecutive order from 1 to 3.

The page at Catan Maps also notes that this scenario was included in the first edition of Seafarers, but was removed because it requires so many different sets.

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