Anyway, we continued with other games in hope that our inability to try Through the Ages would not spoil our session.
Puerto Rico (Me 49, Van 48, Ben 41)
I had the stronger early game, managing to obtain Coffee and Tobacco monopolies. This reaped me some lucrative early trades and set me off in acquiring the Guild House and the related production buildings. However I made a critical mistake towards the end which almost cost me the game. I could have ended the game by Mayoring but failed to realize it, and ended up Captaining for a small advantage. The game continued an additional round which allowed Van to acquire an additional large building and she closed the gap to a single point.
Glory to Rome (Mun 28, Van 27, Me 20, Ben 16)
I struggled to get any good combinations going all-game long. Used my Prison to capture Van's Wall (Immune to legionary and 1VP for every 2 material in stockpile at end of the game) but in retrospect, it was too late in the game for it to really benefit me. Mun built rapidly and her Circus Maximus (double client actions when player leads or follows) and Basilica (when Merchant is played, player may additionally add card to Vault from hand) sealed her victory. None of us had many resources in the Vault but Mun managed to accumulate 4 marble cards which together with the marble majority bonus, accounted for about half her points.
Princes of Florence (Me 61, Mun 54, Van 51, Ben 38)
I managed to win in a rather unconventional way which for me is part of the charm of the game. I pulled off the victory despite producing the least works (4) amongst all the players, but took home the best work bonus 3 times, scored a hefty bulk of points from my 2nd builder, my 3 buildings and...my 2nd and 3rd Lakes. By avoiding expensive auctions, I had to get creative in racking up the points. I also took a Prestige card early and it was fun making sure I fulfilled the condition of being the player with the least empty spaces (I ended up with 6) which reaped me 8 prestige points to take me over the top.
Tichu (Van/Ben 440, Me/Mun -30)
We played till 300. The game was relatively close till I failed my bid for Tichu on 2 consecutive rounds. On the last round, not only did I fail in my Tichu bid, but Van made hers and both Ben and her cleared their cards before Mun and I. Ouch...