What exactly is the difference between Variations 1 & 2? I glean this from the rules:
Variation 1 (the player may move his ship):
A player may move his ship to any tile on his board after tile placement.
Variation 2 (the player must move his ship):
A "player must always place his ship on a tile he places on his board."
Am I understanding Variation 2 correctly to mean that you must place your ship on the tile you have just played that turn? If that's the case, Variation 2 is indeed quite restrictive and challenging!
On the other hand the language "the player may move his ship" and "the player must move his ship" to describe the two variations seems to imply that the only difference between them is that movement is optional in the first variation and mandatory in the second variation (i.e. you cannot leave your ship on the same tile from one turn to the next in the second variation but can in the first, but other than that they are the same). But perhaps this is not accurate - does the second variation have the further restriction that not only is movement mandatory, but you also must move the ship to the tile just played?
Have I got this right?
I just reading the official rules on Rio Grande. I would say you have to move your ship to the tile you just placed.
If you read Variation #1, it explains how the tile you're laying has to be adjacent to the ship. So basically your ship has to be able to sail there in order to explore and discover that region. So logically, in order to have discovered that region, the ship would have to occupy your just placed tile in Variation #2.
I think that is a really great way to scale the game. Basic rules, lay anywhere you want. 1st var, you're limited a bit by your ship. 2nd var, truly restrictive.
This sounds like a great game, and I can't wait to get it.