Strategy games set in the world today
Gabriel Kuriata
Poland
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When we trade, build trading networks, we do so in the ancient times, the middle ages, renaissance, or the 18th and 19th centuries. When we sell, we sell cotton, spice, iron, cloth, tobacco, coffee.

When we build, we build castles, temples, churches, palaces.

When we work, we work with guilds, the church, emperors, kings and queens.

Even when it happens, that we build cars, they are these old ones, that resemble carriages. When we build ships or trains (or move them), they're either steam powered or wind dependant.

So, either the present day world - its economy, connections and situation is not interesting enough for people or it's too difficult to be shown on a game board. Or we could blame it on Cash Flow and Monopoly

I don't know, I'm curious to know. So, as a small research, in this list, I'll try to collect games that match these criteria:

Categories: strategy, economy, netowork building, transport, production, politics, city building, office building, hospital building, engineering or any situations that happen in the world today (like the spread of disease in Pandemic).
Theme: the world of today, modern times, the late 20th or the 21st century.
Please exclude wargames. Race games may also be excluded, because probably cars are a majority anyway.

First impressions, 01.12.2012: I have to admit this list looks better than I feared. When I started it I had the impression that the market is dominated by either fantasy/sci-fi thematic games or castle/medieval/renaissance eurogames (with some exceptions: Automobile, Shipyard, Aeroplanes - but again these aren't exactly "modern"). The oil/petroleum family is strong, but many games are concerned with the beginnings of it in the USA, not the cruel market we have today. Players may be Rockefellers, but not BP's.

My first impression is this, that "modern" games aren't very popular (with the exception of Power Grid or Labirynth) and are not ranked high. People (or editors) choose castles over offices. Why? This requires further research

I see a couple solid euros here, I recognize some of them from Kickstarter. Who know, maybe future years will bring us more "modern" games?

About firefighters? Hospitals? Bridges? Engineers? NASA? Maglev's? Modern ports? Logistics? Magazines? Automated factories? Robotics? Rainforests? Modern farming?
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26. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:44]
Gabriel Kuriata
Poland
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This one offers an excellent integration of theme and mechanics and couldn't be set in any other times than the world today.

It deals with the problem of diseases spreading all over the globe, which can only happen today - with modern international communication.
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27. Board Game: Big City [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:669]
Gabriel Kuriata
Poland
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This game offers fantastic components (3D plastic buildings), but looks fairly abstract - a tile placement game, with the theme pasted on. It reminds me a little of a game where you place 3D plastic cathedrals, just us stunning visually, but I forgot its name.

Still, it's a modern city.
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28. Board Game: Sunrise City [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1397]
Gabriel Kuriata
Poland
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29. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:97]
Frank Strauss
Germany
Berlin
Unspecified
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30. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:112]
Frank Strauss
Germany
Berlin
Unspecified
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31. Board Game: Campaign Manager 2008 [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:819]
Frank Strauss
Germany
Berlin
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32. Board Game: 1969 [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2937]
Frank Strauss
Germany
Berlin
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33. Board Game: Liftoff! [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:3160]
Frank Strauss
Germany
Berlin
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34. Board Game: One More Barrel [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:4560]
Frank Strauss
Germany
Berlin
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35. Board Game: Vinhos [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:196]
Frank Strauss
Germany
Berlin
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36. Board Game: Burn Rate [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:3438]
Jim
United States
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CA, TX
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My circle loves this game. "Bob Headstein... I hear he's one heck of a development manager!"

-Jim
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37. Board Game: Kremlin [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:575]
Jim
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A little on the edge of the late 20th century, but definitely in the politics category.

-Jim
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38. Board Game: High Frontier [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:479]
Jim
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CA, TX
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Perhaps the best space colonization game I have ever played...

-Jim
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39. Board Game: Offshore Oil Strike [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Jim
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There are many strategy (and family) games dealing with oil exploration and production. This one comes to mind, as it relates to my profession.

-Jim
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40. Board Game: Fresh Fish [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1407]
Jamie Collins
United Kingdom
SIDMOUTH
Devon
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I think this game satisfies *all* your criteria e.g. the 'politics' element is expropriation (return of players' reservation cubes when the bureaucracy builds roads).
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41. Board Game: Airlines [Average Rating:4.56 Overall Rank:10975]
Jim
United States
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Card game of running a major airline.

-Jim
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42. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:10954]
Shawn Baldwin
United States
Daytona
Florida
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strategy.....check
economy....check
netowrk building...check
transport....check
production...check
politics...check
the world of today


My first inclusion of this game in any list. Had to be done sooner or later...right?
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43. Board Game: The North Atlantic Shipping Game [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Jim
United States
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CA, TX
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Managing a container ship line. Like the oil theme, there are many games of this type, covering modern ocean commerce.

At least I didn't post Bermuda Triangle! laugh

-Jim
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44. Board Game: Article 27: The UN Security Council Game [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1698]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Real-time negotiation game representing the deliberations of the UN Security Council, complete with ever-present threat of veto.
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45. Board Game: Weed! [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:9919]
Jim
United States
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CA, TX
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Card game of pot growing.

-Jim
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46. Board Game: Power Struggle [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:558]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Brilliant, cynical take on modern office politics.
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47. Board Game: Ground Floor [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:608] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
My Turn Yet?
United States
Kirkland
WA
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Set up a corporation and run it's manufacturing, distribution and marketing.
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48. Board Game: On the Underground [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:655]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Network-building on the modern-day London Underground map.
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49. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:210]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Re-enact the sweeping political changes as Communism fell across Eastern Europe.
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50. Board Game: Airlines Europe [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:209]
Gabriel Kuriata
Poland
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Ticket to Ride in the air. Not sure how sophisticated these planes are, but I see no propellers to indicate another "retro" game.
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