The Good, the Board, and the Ugly is the antithesis of an echo chamber. On the contrary, its cornerstone is diversity in game taste. Among the hosts and wide range of regular guests, you are guaranteed to hear not only an approximation of your own viewpoint but its polar opposite, as well. All contributors share a passion for gaming and a desire to delve deep into discussion.
Brief host bios: Andrew Denison prefers heavy, complicated games and has been earned the nickname "the Mathochist". Opaque, economic, Trent Hamm, the "Game Mage" has been gaming for decades and plays every type of game out there, Ameritrash, Euro, family, economic, you name it: Trent plays it. Except Splendor. Trent HATES Splendor. Speaking of hate, host Joe Sallen loathes game altering randomness, fact which many believe characterizes him as a Eurogamer. In his view of the existential debate of gaming, mechanisms come before theme. Come celebrate the ever expanding world of tabletop gaming with the GBU!
Additionally, get the most from your time spent gaming with help from The Sallen Coefficient, a video review series by Joe Sallen. In each video, Joe explores multiple aspects of the game and how they contribute to its overall efficacy as entertainment. The eponymous Coefficient refers to the depth of a game in relation to the time you'll spend playing and learning it. Joe challenges himself to delve deeper than ever-present subjective qualifiers like "fun", "good", and "I like it" that require the audience to have prior knowledge of the reviewer's tastes. Each video review will leave you with a profound understanding of the game and, most of all, an idea of whether or not to bring it to your table.
Veteran listeners may remember special guest David S. from episodes in which he recorded in Joe’s basement. Now, he’s sharing his experience as a gamer relocating to a new gaming scene.
Lumin has taken the last year for a bit of early life retirement, exploring game conventions across the country and soon to be world with an emphasis on competitive gaming. He's a super nice guy who's here to make you jealous.
Deckscape Heist in Venice is the third in a series of Escape Room in a Deck games. It is the most straight forward and easiest to access, but how does it hold up to the metric of the Sallen Coefficient?
Trent and Joe attended Gen Con 2018. Neither really got to play many board games. Instead, they spent time each doing different things. Joe was in the dealer hall getting coverage of the new hotness. Trent was with his family crafting and participating in uniquely Gen Con events.
How does the Amber Mines expansion impact the game of Near and Far? Find out this core gamer's perspective in the Sallen Coefficient of Near and Far: Amber Mines.
Near and Far is the follow up to Above and Below, Ryan Laukat's smash hit. How does Near and Far hold up to the Sallen Coefficient treatment?
This episode has Geof Gambill and Joe talking about their experiences at the WBC 2018, and then Joe gets on by himself to sarcastically preview games that will be at Gen Con 2018.
The vessel in which you transport games has a subtle yet profound impact on the games you play. Joe makes too much of that thought.
TC, Trent, Andy, and Joe discuss their experiences gaming in the not-so-new year.
Andy, Trent, and Joe proclaim the mechanisms they enjoyed but never heard much about after that one game.
TC, David, Andy, and Joe discuss the age-old debate. Does size really matter?
Joe reflects on the first part of 2018, including reviews of some games played during his recent family trip.
Episode 168 in its entirety was ruined by a never before encountered error. This is Joe's sad attempt at summing up the contents of Episode 168. The show must go on! What are remarkable publishers in your opinion? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy, TC, Trent, and Joe tackle the question: What do you do when you feel like a terrible person because of what you metaphorically did in the game?
In this episode, the GBU hosts showcase board game designers Eric Lang, Chad Jensen, Phil Eklund, and Martin Wallace.
The GBU crew argue the semantics of tabletop categories. Are storytelling experiences board games? What’s the line between an RPG and a board game? Does the phrase “board game” mean anything?
What games have the strongest in-game interaction, short of a full-fledged battle? Andy, Trent, TC, and Joe discuss the merits of passive aggressive beating around the bush in their latest episode.
Special Guest Luke Heidebrecht, organizer of Hattanooga, a Convention for Train Games held in Medicine Hat, Saskatchewan, joins Andy, TC and Joe to talk about Train Games. What is a train game? Is Ticket to Ride a Train Game? Is Power Grid a Train Game? Is Trains a Train Game?
Seth Jaffee, designer of Eminent Domain and part of the Tasty Minstrel Games team, joins TC and Joe to chat about his experiences and accomplishments in Tabletop!
How do you trim down a bulging board game collection? The GBU crew (minus TC) has a few tips. But mostly commiseration to share.
Hesitant to jump head first into heavy games? The GBU panel come up with a few training regimens to ensure that you and your gaming friends have a smooth experience as you delve deeper into the hobby.
From a man who can’t even seem to get self-deprecation right comes a list of his ten favorite games. Don’t hold it against the games; they did nothing to deserve being associated with such infamy. They’re the real victims here. Also, the audience.
Geof Gambill, founder of the Long View Podcast, has been holed up in a cave in Eastern Pennsylvania for the winter. To celebrate his release from hibernation he put together a top ten list for this episode of the GBU.
Trent Hamm spans the crevasse between 18XX and light family games, playing everything under the sun. For him, walking is a dexterity game, ordering dinner is a resource management game, and marriage is a negotiation game. Find out what’s risen to the top over more than three decades of gaming in Trent’s Top Ten.
Tim Fowers, designer of Paperback and Burgle Bros. etc., joins TC and Joe as they chat about game design. Tim spreads the word on the upcoming Tabletop Network, a designer-focused convention to be held in the coming months in Utah.
John Velgus of Protospiel San Jose, an annual convention focusing on board game development in the Bay Area, explains his experiences as an organizer, designer, and playtester.
Andy had played exactly ten 18xx games, so his top ten games of all time basically made itself.
TC tells the world his top games. Before each entry, a dice will be rolled to determine the game discussed. Shenanigans ensue.
All four co-hosts are here to talk about the negotiation encouraged by specific games' mechanisms. John Company, Rising Sun, Cosmic Encounter, Sidereal Confluence, and other games are analyzed.
Joe teaches Hansa Teutonica in 60 seconds. He then proceeds to review it. Get ready for a frowny euro!