Okay, standard caveat: There’s no such thing as a “perfect” game for me because there are too many games styles I’d want, and almost always the “Does Everything Well” don’t replace the “Does one thing perfectly” games in my collection.
That stated, I introduce all of you to: Star Wars Rebellion Armada X-Wing Legion with Optional Imperial Assault Variant.
In SWRAXWLWOIAV, you and one opponent play a modified version of SW:Rebellion where the heroes are taken out of the game entirely and the “story events” are modified to just represent the political and economic elements of the game. The ship building is also considerably expanded to include all of the capital ships and fighter squadrons available throughout the Galactic Civil War and the Clone Wars eras.
Any time a fleet travels to a new world, the game is paused and then both players transition to an appropriate table where a game of SW: Armada is played to determine the outcome of the fleet battle. Which ever side is the aggressor will have to commit fighters and landing troops to the planetary assault element before the fight begins, and likewise the defender will commit troops to Interceptor rolls. Neither Invasion nor Interceptor ships are available for the battle. The battle is then run with the capital ships and any remaining fighter per side as per usual Armada rules, with heavily modified objective and deployments appropriate to the battle and the SW:Rebellion objectives being attempted. The success/failure state (Overwhelming Victory, Marginal Victory, Marginal Defeat, Overwhelming Defeat) will give bonuses or penalties to the next stage…
A game of SW:X-Wing where the Invasion and Interceptor wings of fighters engage to land or stop landing of troops (note that the Rebels can land saboteurs or whatever). Obviously there is significant carry-over from the game of Armada here: if one side is completely wiped off the map in the Armada game, that will have direct (and perhaps overwhelming consequences here).
Any landed troops are then given a multiplier and represent the forces available to the attacker in a game of SW:Legion, where once again specific objectives will be used corresponding to the overarching objectives of the Rebellion game. Critically, there may be specific buildings that one side needs to protect or destroy or investigate.
But what about the heroes? Dear reader, I have not forgotten. Heroes are removed from the Rebellion level of the game because they are incorporated into the Armada, X-Wing, and Legion levels of the game. Deciding how and where to commit your heroes is a sub-game in and of itself! Do you want Vader on an Imperial Star Destroyer? No problem, but then he isn’t available to pilot a TIE Advanced… but if you put him in the TIE Advanced, he can be in both the X-Wing AND Legion elements… assuming his ship survives the X-Wing engagement!
Of course, the optional SW:Imperial Assault elements use an adaptive app integration which controls one side or the other, allowing the entire game to be played fully-coop. This may seem like a bit of a stretch, but there are already fully co-op versions of X-Wing and I think they have something similar for Armada (and obviously Imperial Assault already has it).
And there you have it. The perfect game* for 2 players (up to 4 if you are playing fully coop). Game length will be 4-6 months, and it’s already (almost) available for a mere $2,500CAD.
*Some modifications may be required. Models are provided unassembled, except where assembled, and unpainted, except where painted. Terrain, objectives, playmats, cards, and sufficient dice sold separately. Offer of perfection not valid in the province of Quebec or the Territories.