Mark's #36: Web of Power
Now that I've got that rant out of the way, let's actually talk about the game. It's just about perfect: a 45 minute area majority game with enough luck of the draw to keep players from locking down a particular strategy and yet plenty of opportunities for subtle & intelligent play. It's been called El Grande lite - which I kind of understand - but I think K&K (sigh, Web of Power) stands on its own two feet.
There are two simple expansions available: "The Duell" which makes a two-player game not only possible but very workable; and "The Vatican" which offers yet another way to influence scoring. Web is sadly OOP, but China (Web of Power with some changes) was released earlier this year.