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Dune Imperium (DNI) WBC 2023 Event Report
Updated October 27, 2023
93 Players Jack Wolff Event History
2023 Champion & Laurels

Wolff Repeats As Dune: Imperium Champion!

The first Heat drew 71 entrants, so in order to have four players at each of the 18 tables, the GM played as well. The second Heat drew 52 players, for 13 more tables of four-player games. Eight games of the 31 played in the first two heats were played with the base game only, while 23 games were played with the Rise of Ix expansion. The Semifinal and Final were all played with the Rise of Ix expansion. We had two double winners (congratulations to Bowen Niu and Jeff Cornett). With a total of 29 winners of at least one game, qualification for the 16-player semifinal round required playing in the second round, or else hoping to make it as an alternate. As it turned out, 13 of the 16 qualifiers showed for the Semifinal, allowing three of the “single win only” alternates to play.

Players selected leaders from a random deal of as many leaders as could be dealt (12 of the 14 in case of play of the Rise of Ix expansion; 8 of 8 in the case of the base game). The most popular among the base game leaders was Baron Valdimir Harkonnen (21 games) followed closely by Duke Leto Atreides and Helena Richese (19 games each). The least popular base game leader was Paul Atreides (6 games). Among the expansion leaders, Tessia Vernius, Archduke Armand Ecas, and Prince Rhombur Vernius were most popular (10, 9, and 8 games respectively). The least popular was Viscount Hundro Moritani (played only once). Despite being chosen only for 4 games, “Princess” Yuna Moritani managed to win 75% of her games. The next most successful leaders were Tessia Vernius (40%), Duke Leto (37%), and Beast Rabban (36%). Despite being popular, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen only managed to win 19% of his games. Four leaders failed to win even one game despite 20 opportunities: Paul Atreides, Archduke Armand Ecaz, Ilesa Ecaz, and Viscount Hundro Moritani. To be fair, though, several of these losses were by tiebreakers. In fact, Ilesa Ecaz never finished lower than second place.

Jeff Cornett’s first Heat game came down to a tie against Eric Peffer and Rich Meyer, but fortunately his Count Ilban Richese possessed Chaumurky to win the tiebreaker, making Meyer’s 8 spice only worth second. Cornett took Helena Richese in the second Heat and managed a one-point victory over Ray Wolff’s Leto. Jeff relied upon the Fremen and Spacing Guild alliances. The other double winner, Bowen Niu, used Baron Harkonnen in the first Heat to grab two flags and one alliance and a blowout victory. In the second Heat, Niu again had the Baron, and eked out a victory over defending champion Jack Wolff’s Beast Rabban by tiebreakers. Jack Wolff used Tessia Vernius in his first Heat to win by one point over Remy Carr’s Baron Harkonnen. Alex Gregorio chose Beast Rabban to lead him to victory in the second Heat, controlling three alliances and one flag, and winning by two points over Greg Lee’s Yuna Moritani. Mark Giddings, having placed second to Bowen Niu in the first Heat, went with Count Ilban Richese in the second Heat to win handily.

In the Semifinals Jeff Cornett chose Leto Atreides, but came up two points short against Alex Gregorio’s Beast Rabban. Eric Peffer’s Helena Richese came in third, and Jim McFarlane’s Earl Thorvald was fourth. In the second Semifinal, Mark Giddings chose Prince Rhombur Vernius and the Fremen alliance to win by one point over Eric Alexopoulos’ Paul Atreides (allied to the Emperor, and controlling Arakeen and the Imperial Basin). Kevin Emery’s Baron Harkonnen was two points back, and Tom Cannon’s Armand Ecaz (with the Spacing Guild) was fourth. In the third Semifinal, Bowen Niu used Leto Atreides and alliances with the Emperor and Bene Gessirit to win by one over Rich Shipley’s Ilesa Ecaz (possessing Carthag). David Sinodis’ Baron Harkonnen (with the Spacing Guild alliance) was third, while Mason Murray’s Arian Thorvald (with the Fremen) was fourth. In the fourth Semifinal, Jack Wolff again chose Tessia Vernius and gained two alliances to win by three over Christian Kasilag’s Baron Harkonnen, with Marvin Birnbaum’s Beast Rabban, and David Platnik’s Leto Atreides finishing third and fourth.

The Final brought together familiar faces, as defending champion Jack Wolff, Bowen Niu, and Mark Giddings had all faced each other during the Heats. Alex Gregorio (fourth place in 2022) had defeated double winner Jeff Cornett in the Semifinal, making for a very talented field for the Final. Jack Wolff picked Duke Leto and pushed to an early lead, focusing his deck-building on the Bene Gesserit. Mark Giddings chose Baron Harkonnen and worked with the others to try to reel in Wolff. Alex Gregorio’s Ariana Thorvald secured the Fremen alliance and built up the largest hordes of spice, solari and water. Bowen Niu’s Helena Richese ended in a tie for third with Gregorio, losing the spice tiebreaker. Wolff forged alliances with the Spacing Guild and the Bene Gesserit, and flagged the Imperial Basin, securing a four-point victory over Giddings, who in the end lost all alliances. Thus, Jack Wolff becomes the two-time champion, having beat an excellent field of contenders. This young human may be the voice from the outer world.

2023 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Mark Giddings Alex Gregorio Bowen Niu Eric Alexopoulos Rich Shipley
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
What a surprise, a mafia member playing DNI. A good turnout for Dune Imperium Heat.
Richard Meyer looking over his cards. Finalists with GM Stuart Tucker.
GM  Stuart Tucker [1st Year]