I put down a quantum cube with my first move, but any danger of smugness evaporated quickly as Ian took me to the celestial cleaners, forcing me to go on the attack as he deftly put down cube after cube and shrugged off my aggression. My crappy early combat rolls certainly didn't help, but make no mistake, it was a pasting.
Ian - all cubes down
Sam - 2 cubes remaining
We fleetingly flirted with the idea of Eclipse before the setting-up time detoured us to the similarly loved Railways of the World. I haven't played this for a while but I got off to a pretty decent start, if I do say so myself. I managed to ship the first cube, get the first four cubes, and deliver the first three-link cube. At one stage I was in gravy, some 20 points or so ahead of Ian and with cash to burn.
However the back-patting carries an inherent danger of hubris and Ian, pondering each move with a shrewd eye, got himself back into contention, clawing back the deficit to a paltry three points at one stage. Whilst I built and built (claiming all four route bonuses) Ian upgraded his train and shipped, shipped, shipped. Come the endgame, my larger network gave me plenty of options to score points, and also prevented Ian from completing his baron bonus- though it was still very close, considering:
And with that, Ian vanished into the night, never to be seen until Tuesday...