After 3 consecutive losses to Van in the game, I finally managed my first victory. Though Van was getting really sleepy as the game dragged into its 2nd hour, so maybe that had something to do with it. We played with the Trade & Change expansion theme. The final score was 13 to 10.
I once again focused my early game in rushing for the 5th settlement which I succeeded in. I also searched out a Scout card which helped me line up my foundry between 2 coal regions. The knight and commerce tokens were fiercely competed for throughout the game with each of us nabbing one at the end of the game. I was able to upgrade 4 of my settlements to cities due to riches in coal and obtained the remaining VPs from a Church, Town Hall and Library.