Having set the board up, I took longer than usual studying it. I didn't think it was fair also knowing my Baron or the Railroad Operation cards, but I did peruse the board for a while and work out what my first move what be. Then Andrew arrived, we turned over the Railroad Operation cards and my plans completely changed.
Andrew didn't contest the obvious opening move too much; clearly he was thinking long term. I had the benefit of scoring 5 points in the opening round and getting myself in a reasonable position on the scoretrack, whilst Andrew mirrored my last game and took bonds to the extent he had to pay back money to the bank.
In fact I surged into such a healthy lead I started to feel confident and even said "Maybe this is the night!" - having never won Railways before. But of course Andrew came back at me - and we commenced a game of cat and mouse, as I would surge up the track only to find him breathing down my neck again. The difference this time was the bonds - for once I'd managed them with some restraint - and Andrew cursed Martins name, as the last time we saw him he said he regularly took 15 or so bonds. Andrew ended the game with ten, and it was too many:
I was overjoyed to finally win a game of RotW, even if it was a 2-player. I first played it nearly two years ago! However games are a fickle mistress and we swiftly moved on. Andrew was in the mood for Arkadia, something he and I have played a few times as a 2-player and always enjoyed (it plays up to 4). The theme is gossamer light; basically it's a game of puzzles and patterns.
Having not played in a good while we started slowly, but both of us built up a head of steam in what will go down in Arkadia Lore (admittedly a niche interest) as a classic. I thought I'd done enough to win, but when Andrew revealed his final cache of seals he had heaps - enough to catch me up and force a spectacular draw:
We didn't check for a tie-breaker rule actually. Oh well.
By now we were fairly drunk and there was just enough time for Biblios. Both of us fretted our way through the game as the dice values skittered up and down and nobody seemed 100% sure of what they had. But when the cards were revealed I managed to hang on to the Mr Biblios title - for now.
Very nice night, thanks Andrew. Happy New Year everyone!