As his "super secret" Christmas gift this year Terence got Railroad Tycoon (we were in Craving for a Game in the mall and Terence pointed at Railroad Tycoon and said "ooh, I heard that's pretty good. Wouldn't mind that under the tree". Well, that's how I remember it happening anyway).
He was hoping the trend that developed where he would win any gift given to him as a gift would continue - but he was disappointed to start the new year with a loss. It came as a shock to me to actually win the game since I took on a lot of debt early, selling 10 shares of stock in my first move to get me cash flush only to find the first several income phases had me paying the bank. I then had to take on 5 additional shares to keep the wolves at bay. Terence got by taking only 5 shares, 1 at a time throughout the game, so income day was always a happy one at his station.
Once I realized the massive errors of my way I set about trying to stay at least 11 points ahead of Terence, I had built a good rail system over on the east coast, Terence developed heavily in the midwest, building the western link near the end to try to get more cubes into Chicago where he was linked to several surrounding cities.
I managed to squeak out by ending the game early by delivering goods along my east coast line, closing 2 - 3 cities per round in my last 2 turns, while collecting extra points delivering to Baltimore & Charleston thanks to railroad operation cards taken earlier in the game. The only thing that saved me in the end though was that Terence did not manage to get his secret mission (mine was to have the least amount of stock issued - funny!). Terence had longest continue track for 8 points - which would have made him win by 1, but I had built a very nice track early and he couldn't quite catch up.
In the end, I was left with about $12 k, while Terence, even after building the little used western link, still had $43 k sitting in his coffers. Clearly, this was a learning game in which I got really lucky, I have no doubts that Terence will be winning his gift game often. This is a great addition to our collection and will come out on these grey drizzly Sunday afternoons when staying in pj's is the best way to go.