Here are a couple of interesting journalistic accounts of complex modern board games:
They both emphasize games that seek to accurately model military conflicts, particularly “A Distant Plain“, which is about the post-2001 intervention in Afghanistan.
A few years ago, I tried to convince the student government (Lionel Massey Fund, or LMF) at Massey College into buying a game called “Persian Incursion” which sought to model an Israeli attack against the Iranian nuclear weapons program. They rejected the proposal as too expensive and controversial. It would be interesting to try a game like this sometime, but no board game cafÃ© where I have asked yet has carried them.