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.
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!
Joe explains how to play Sagrada in 60 seconds, and gives the Sallen Coefficient and his own personal rating for the game.
Joe explains how to play For Sale in 60 seconds, and gives the Sallen Coefficient and his own personal rating for the game.
Episode 151: Keeghan Reynolds, a representative of Gamicon, a convention held in Cedar Rapids Iowa, joins in on this podcast that examines what we want from a local Con.
Andy, Trent, and Joe take a moment to reflect on the journey behind 150 episodes of the Good, the Board, and the Ugly. Andy and Trent went to the fringe, while Joe became the Board Game Matchmaker.
Norm from the Bridge City Boardgamers and ½ of the Daniel and Daddy video series shares his experience working with special needs gamers. Also joining as a guest will be Joe’s wife, Caroline, who uses games in her job as a special education teacher.
Joe put way more than ten games on his list. That makes him a horrible person. He also fills the empty hole where his heart should be by mentioning the biggest disappointments of the year. You've been warned.
In this episode, Designer Tony Chen of Monsoon Publishing Joins Joe, Andy, and TC to chat about his experiences in tabletop. Tony is the designer of Iberian Rails and the upcoming Warriors of Jogu.
Kate, Carissa and TC of the Reid clan are here to join host Joe as daughter Kate considers the heavier side of board games.
Come join Joe, Trent, and Andy as Geof tells about his experiences at the first ever PAX Unplugged convention held in Philadelphia at the same time as BGG Con.
Trent’s BGGCon “to-be-played” List - 1817, Gandhi, For-Ex, Gaia Project, Pulsar 2849, Legend of the Five Rings tournament, Nusfjord, Riverboat. Also, Joe puts Munchkin in perspective.
Geof Gambill and Carmen Petruzelli had the time of their lives at Essen Spiel in October and they are joining TC and Joe to unpack their experiences and game bags for your listening pleasure!