Of course the starting of the San Juan game soon resulted in Alvin and David arriving. The choices for 6-players were Age of Steam or David going back to his car to get Power Grid. Tim and Sam bravely agreed to learn this highly complex, but brilliant game.
David sportingly was willing to risk his new title of Age of Steam champion.
Sam immediately leapt into the fray borrowing heavily and bidding up big to get the urbanisation for the first couple of rounds. By the third round he was beginning to reap the benefits of his daring play having monopolised some of the most important sources of cubes on the western board and set up some good long runs for the end game. Brendan then took the shares by the horns, taking out 4 shares and bidding 11 for turn order, he was able to urbanise Toledo and connect Detroit to set up more than half a dozen 4 runs of black and red cubes. Although David and Tim (jumping over from his St Louis-Chicago heartland) immediately tried to get in on the action, this move proved decisive and Brendan snuck in by one point over Sam's impressive 1st up performance.
David sadly messed up his expenses in one turn and was unable repeat his winning form. Perhaps the English countryside was more to his liking.
Tim had to leave after the Age of Steam game, so the originally advertised Collosseum hit the table.
I think the heat was getting to the group a bit by then. Everyone happily allowed Sam to put on a level two performance in a base sized stadium on turn two, so the game was badly corrupted from then on. Alvin suggested we play to alternate bidding rules that allow multiple purchases each round. Brendan got a bit carried away in the first round and was broke for the rest of the game. Jim got crossed badly in the bidding a couple of times and decided the new rules were a blight on the gaming landscape. However, Brendan managed to tie for first place with Sam, despite being broke for the whole game and only being able to afford 1 set of tiles in the last 4 rounds (Admittedly the set included 2 wilds), so in the end the group was split on value of the rule.