And that's what transpired. They stayed long enough at RftS to play a game or two (I'll let them inform you in the comments) and then jumped on a time-travelling bus bound for Ashley Down.
Unfortunately the bus' time-travelling abilities allowed it to take about an hour to get through post-rush-hour north Bristol, but no matter. After a couple of texts I had the go-ahead to set up Railways of the World (Mexico, in this case) which meant upon their arrival they could pretty much walk in, sit down and immediately start playing; much in the way that normal people start talking (I imagine).
It was a harsh board. And harsher for Andrew, who won the bidding and set up the most productive opening link only to have me jump alongside him courtesy of a Trading Depot card, like a parasitical slug. Powered by steam.
Martin initially got confused over the representations of the colour purple but went with the book in the end.
Ha ha! That's a joke. I've had a bit of wine. Anyway... So we let him retake his go and he began building across southern Mexico. Andrew built more in the south, and I depoted up, inviting the wrath of Martin who felt I should really be building track in a railroad game. I picked up a couple of engine upgrades.
At this stage I was feeling optimistic as both the other players were going, if not Bond-crazy, then slightly liberal with the spending. I kept things frugal and picked up the most money throughout the game.
But of course money means nothing if you don't have the points, so I began to build down the west as Andrew built up the east. Martin always seemed to have trading options, and they surged off ahead of me on the score track until I was rescued by a Service Bounty giving me a little boost. Come the final count up my lack of bonuses and Baron (first to level six engine) catapulted me into the lead, only to have Andrew surge past again courtesy of his own Baron - most links. It was very, very close:
It was only half past nine so we had plenty of time for another game. I really wanted to try Darjeeling but I realised I wasn't in a state to comprehend new rules, so when Martin proposed Quantum Andrew and I agreed. We went for a curious board that was rectangular-shaped but with a hollow centre, so it looked a bit like a racetrack. And early on it seemed like a mistake, as there was almost zero interaction. We just plodded around, placing cubes.
But come the endgame things suddenly tightened up, and we had to fight not only over territory but to make sure Martin didn't place his last cube courtesy of the Dominance rule - but we failed:
2 Andrew/Sam (1 cube remaining)
Martin and I were still up for one more game, but such an industry and combat-heavy night had worn Andrew out, so we called it a night.