Episode 122: Eric Clapton's Underwear

Release Date: Mar. 7, 2011

Running Time:  156 min.

Listen Now:

Enhanced Version 
MP3 Version

Subscribe via iTunes:
Enhanced - MP3

See sidebar for other subscription options

Synchronize your watches. We fire up the TARDIS for a time travel adventure, including a review of the clock winding brain burner Khronos, a look back at a classic Doctor Who title, and a dive into the history of the sand timer.

News & Notes: Guards! Guards!, Awful Green Things, China Daily article
The List: 
Back Shelf Spotlight:  Doctor Who: The Game of Time & Space
A History of Games in 100 Objects:  The Sand Timer
Game Sommelier:  5 games improved by removing dice

Mail Bag:  Ludology, Uno float pics, German game company map

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

News & Notes

Guards! Guards! Link

Discworld themed game from Z-Man coming soon.

Awful Green Things From Outer Space  Link

This edition of the Tom Wham classic will feature a proper game board and die cut counters.

China Daily Article Link

Less than stellar journalism claims crisis where none exists, but gives us insight into the growing game community in China.

Game Preserve Contest Link

Comment on their review of Dust: Tactics and you could win a copy! Continental US residents only.

The List

Khronos Official Site | BGG  Buy It

Send your time agents through three ages of human history: Might, History, and Reason, to reshape the landscape and your kingdom.

Back Shelf Spotlight

Doctor Who: The Game of Time & Space  BGG  Buy It

Search the ends of the galaxies for parts to the key of Cronos. A Games Workshop bookshelf game from the 1980s.

A History of Games in 100 Objects

Sand Timer

Short list of games/categories mentioned

Party Games: Scattergories, Time’s Up, Dixit, Taboo, Wits & Wagers, Alias
Word Games: Boggle, Perquackey,
Scrabble SAM timer
Puzzle Games: Ubongo and its kin, Ricochet Robot
Abstract Games: Tamsk, Quicksand
Co-Op Games: Wok Star,
War Game: Senji, Space Hulk
Pick up and Deliver: Space Dealer, Galaxy Trucker
Programmed Movement: Robo Rally

The Game Sommelier

The Challenge: 5 games improved by removing dice

Nuclear War
221 B Baker St
Days of Steam

Next Challenge: 5 hobby games that could be improvised from classic game parts

Truckloads of Goober - NY Toy Fair

Spuzzle    Official Site  

Simultaneous puzzle game for the younger crowd.

Wobble    Official Site  |  BGG | Buy It



Add weighted discs to the tippy game board and try to get the ball to roll in order to each corner.

Whoowasit?    Official Site  |  BGG | Buy It


Award winning dice game given a Carcassonne re-theming.

Monopoly Live    Link


Spiffy looking marble slider determines actions each round

Spontuneous    Official Site  | Buy It


Award winning dice game given a Carcassonne re-theming.

American Revolution Card Games    Official Site  


Spiffy looking marble slider determines actions each round

Faux-Cabulary    Official Site  |  BGG 


Spiffy looking marble slider determines actions each round

Mail Bag

Ludology podcast by Geoff Englestein & Ryan Sturm

Greggory Delman sent us some great close up pictures of the UNO float and the Pac Man float from the Rose Parade.

David Schuth sent us a map of game publisher offices in Germany


Music credits (courtesy of IODA promonet) include:

No IODA tracks this time

Non-Ioda Music:

The Future Soon  by Jonathan Coulton | Buy It

After Midnight  by Eric Clapton | Buy It

If I Had a Time Machine, That Would Be Fresh   by MC Lars | Buy It

Time Machine  by The Singing Nerd  |  Link

A Place in Time  by Amanda Abizaid  |  Buy It

k'Nock Around the Clock  by Micky Katz  |  Link

Tardis Song  by Smiling Limpet  |  Link

Time Machine Song from Futurama  |  Link

Doctorin' the Tardis  by The Timelords  |  Buy It

I'm sure there are some goofs in there somewhere. Let us know if (when?) you find one!


 Stephen and David,

First of all, thanks for including Khronos on your podcast and thanks for crediting (blaming?) me for "Eric Clapton's underwear".


You guys did an amazing job with the rules even though I have a few corrections. The rules are like a minefield but really do make sense once you get everything in order. Khronos is not a game for everyone but I think fans of Tigris & Euphrates might find a bit of a similar feel here (perhaps a 3D version of T&E). I would be happy to teach this game at the following conventions this year - Game Days and EuroQuest in Maryland, Origins and BuckeyeGameFest in Columbus, OH, and BGG Con in Dallas, TX.


The few corrections:

Law of Rippling - ONLY medium and large buildings ripple forward in time (in this section, you said buildings ripple forward but didn't mention the size attribute),

Scoring - In the Age of Might and the Age of Faith, the single highest value ("most prestigious") milititary and religious building, respectively, score within each domain (not the highest total value of those building types), and

Demolish action - Demolish can never happen in the Age of Reason since you cannot demolish a pre-printed building on the board and small buildings never ripple forward in time.  The Age of Reason will only have preprinted buildings and buildings that have rippled forward.


Thanks for another great episode!


Paul Marshall

Thanks for the corrections, Paul! I knew we could count on you to find the places where we slipped up. Minefield is a perfect way to describe the rules. While we didn't escape unscathed, I'd like to think we cover the essential concepts of the game in a way that makes them more manageable. And hopefully, it will encourage more people  to give it a go.

Thanks for the (ongoing) lesson!


Your logic on a Demolish action in the Age of Reason based on an earlier downsizing rippling forward is very sound except for one item. A downsizing action only ripples forward if the downsize is from a large to a medium building (this is a place in the rules where they confuse you by using building names rather than sizes). A downsizing from a medium to a small building never ripples forward. Like I said, it's a minefield.



Heh. I realized the error of my ways minutes after posting my original response about demolishing.

As I said on the show, sometimes the game can't get out of its own way and this is a prime example!

ECU? Isn't that the "European Currency Unit" - which is what they were going to call the Euro before it became, well, the Euro? Perhaps the game designers thought it was a currency of the future ? Perhaps the Europeans decided to use Euro in preference to ECU because of Eric Clapton.

Interesting review of Khronos - this has been on my radar for some time, now, so it was really useful to hear a detailed breakdown.

My conclusion is that this would be a game I would really enjoy playing but that my local group would most likely hate. In fact I'd probably hate playing it with them as there are a fair few sufferers of Analysis Paralysis amongst my companions.

Still, it looks and sounds cool and surely must be tried at least once. Maybe at a convention sometime... until then I'll stick to Chrononauts which scatches a similar itch but with less complexity.


Great to hear Dr Who getting some love. Anyone, of my age, in the UK is likely to have endless nostalgia for this key component of Saturday evening television in the 1970s. I could real off endless trivia about the series until Sarah Jane comes home (which, incidentally, she has on children's television).

And, yes, Douglas Adams was an early scriptwriter and he later used key components, of the episodes he wrote (City of Death and Shada), in his first non Hitchhiker novel - "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency".

He had a movie script "Dr Who and the Krikketmen" which never made it to the big screen and eventually re-emerged as the novel "Life, the Universe and Everything".

Lots of crossing lines. When he was the Script Editor for Dr Who he was well known for allowing "Hitchhiker" In-Jokes to appear in the series. It can be a lot of fun trying to spot these. This tradition continued for many a year - even up to 2007 when an episode called "42" was broadcast (David Tennant being the Doctor at the time).


Doctor Who games were ten a penny when I were a lad. They were all, as I recall, fairly limited roll and move. Funny that in this episode you talk about media tie ins (aka Guards! Guards!).

Ah, the passage of time :-)

I'd figure Europeans would want to adopt the ECU *because* of Mr. Clapton... [shakes head]

Analysis paralysis is certainly a major concern with this game even mong players for whom this would not normally be an issue. There are just so many if/then things to think through with even a simple move, the game does tempt you down that path. Better to take a zen approach, I think, and let time unravel or unfold without overthinking it. I learn better by screwing up most times anyway. Or at least that's the story I am sticking to!

You are a font of Douglas Adams/Dr. Who trivia! I didn't know his film script morphed into the novel. That's very interesting considering how many other lives and variations the whole Hitchhikers series has had, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

The Doctor was a fixture on public television on weekend nights here in the States. In the pre-cable/satellite TV days, we could only pull in 3 or 4 channels with our aerial antenna and I knew exactly how to set it so we could watch Doctor Who. 

We didn't see a lot of Who themed games on our side of the pond, though. I suppose that's why the GW title resonates more than others, even though the fun comes more from nostalic than a deep connection to the source material.

I've seen season 1 of Sarah Jane. It was fun. As spinoffs go, though, I really enjoy Torchwood. Looking forward to the next series coming up this Fall.

I thought initially you were talking about “Eric Clapton’s Under Where?”, a popular parlour game among the 60’s rock royalty in those giddy days when he was not yet on the wagon. If I remember right, the first player to successfully figure out which piece of furniture or party guest Eric had collapsed beneath won the right of trying to remind the others that they had been playing.

Thanks to Pike for filling in the Who/ Adams connections. Met the man once. HUGE. He seemed 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide. He autographed my book but when he handed it back to me, I noticed that he hadn't included the customary "To etc..." and asked him if he could write “Gregory” somewhere. He calmly took the book back flipped to a random page and scribbled my name into the inner margin. It is one of the high honors of my life to have been insulted by the very best and his loss pained me at the time. Bill Hicks, John Lennon, Linda Smith all late 30’s, early 40s… I grow uncomfortably aware that I am approaching the point of outliving some of my heroes.  Which means I can smugly sit here in my rocker on the porch saying, “You kids needin’ yer dagnabbed computers to play Khronos. Why in my day we had Avalon Hill rulebooks an’ we worked out our Car Wars equations with a  slide rule… none of your high falutin’ European score tracks either; we used a pencil and paper. Left a li’l souvenir of the game you could press in yer diary.”

By the way, you do know that you’ve blown a hole in the time/ space continuum? This week’s Your Move was supposed to revolve around the seven original BBC television doctors. But that one slipped through the wormhole to NEXT episode and if I can’t stop it we’ll all be pulled through to the alternate reality where Steerpike and I do the show and you guys haunt the forums and nobody wants that. I’ll see what I can do; you stay here and get the tea ready. *click* VWORPVWORPVWORPVWORP.

Belgium?! Watch your language, sir.

Finding Clapton is the psychedelic equivalent to Where's Waldo, then? Nice.

When I was in grad school at Butler University, we had Rad Bradbury and Douglas Adams visit and give a lecture/reading together. It was phenomenal. No one would have ever guessed that it would be Adams that would fail to see another full year. I share your anguish at his early demise. A great loss.

We did miss an opportunity with the Doctor and Your Move. Dang! Where's the rewind button on this thing?

Wow, an alternative reality where Steerpike and Gregory are co-hosts of a gaming podcast. That would be pretty surreal (an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters).

Hey, let's do it. 

Yeah, I've been quiet here for a while (it was a very busy few months with deadlines and such), but I've been listening to the podcast!

I'm still working my way through the episode (short commute means it takes a few days sometimes), but I just finished listening to the Khronos review. I had a few things to say as well. The rules corrections were one of them (which were mostly covered). It might have also been worth mentioning that because small buildings do not ripple and can be destroyed, there's a fairly interesting non-time tactical play in using them to either block, unblock or connect things. You also didn't mention that upgrades can't overtake other buildings in their own time period (though that is obvious), which again makes for some interesting tactical play on single boards.

I wanted to disagree with the theory that technology is appropriate for this game, though. I am not a luddite by any means, and I love my electronics as much as the next guy, But the idea of allowing a computer to show you your ripples is IMO kind of analogous to the idea of using a chess aid to show you the possible ramifications of moves: the point of the exercise in chess for a good player is to visualize the strategies and counter-strategies, not to have them shown to him for his selection. Likewise in Khronos, the point of the laws is to correctly gauge the effects of your actions from what you see before you. Now, my group is friendly and will often allow someone to back a move out if nothing too serious has happened and the next person hasn't taken their turn (or if, as can happen in Khronos, a misplay is caught), so perhaps in some way we bend that purpose, but the burden IS still on the player to find and visualize the moves necessary to win. Khronos carries a certain mental burden, yes, but IMO that's WHY you play it, and that's part of what makes it stand out in the gaming landscape.

Yes, this does mean that the audience for Khronos is limited, but I think there's room in gaming for games that cater to a certain niche. Having a game like Khronos which puts a large mental burden on the players is great contrast to the lighter games of the world that don't interest me: should I insist that more strategy be put into Fluxx? Maybe there should be another time-travel themed game that is somewhere between Chrononauts and Khronos, but I don't think that there's a need to make Khronos that more widely-approachable game that you might want it to be.

Besides, technology can do so many more interesting and different things, it doesn't seem worth the effort to create an app just for this one board game...

Thanks for your thoughts, Joe.

If the rules for Khronos were as elegant as chess, I would agree there's no need for electronic enhancement.

But they're not. Not by a long shot.

The complexities of all the overlapping and inter-related rules make it difficult to get to the point where you understand the ramifications of your possible choices on a given move (or given turn). I don't want the electronic aids as a crutch to make me think less in the game; I want the electronic aids so that I can learn the game faster and then not need them at all.

I don't want Khronos to be all things to all gamers. It's a game with rich strategy but I think it can't get out of its own way enough for many players to enjoy it. I would argue there's a subset of gamers who enjoy heavier strategy games that would not take the time to learn or play Khronos correctly because the rules are so full of pitfalls when learning. This game may know its audience but I think it has a difficult time speaking to it. My yearning for an electronic aid is simply one possible way of bridging this gap.

I also wanted to mention one more thing about Khronos, duh!

Because the game often hinges on card draws, there can be a lot of luck in it. The rules specify a "hold 'em" variant, where a pool of 4 cards is face-up and before you play your turn you can swap up to 2 cards with the open cards. They're never reshuffled or dealt, so their composition is something you can plan around a bit if you're not getting the cards you desperately need. Our group feels the variant vastly improves the game.

 Ok so after many great game ideas from the Spiel I now need to add TV shows to the list.

I had nevered watched any of the Dr Who episodes and then after your discussing it on the show I decided to give it a try. With the help of Netflix online I have now watched several stories.

Pretty good show - some really nice storylines and as long as you imagine your way through some special effects it is a lot of fun

Thanks for the great TV advice




Glad to hear you gave The Doctor a shot and that you're enjoying it! You do have to make some major allowances for budget/effects in the early years, but it goes to show that story is still capable of winning the day.

As for shows, don't get me started... Oh wait you already did....

Firefly, of course, should be in your bag of tricks if you haven't seen it and you love scifi.

Mad Men is one of the best written and best looking shows on TV right now. A gloves off look at the adversiting business in NY in the 1960s. Really compelling characters and stories.

Dead Like Me is another shortlived but very enjoyable series. Young Georgia dies early and becomes a Reaper, part of a team of misfits whose job it is to ferry souls to the hereafter. Sounds grim, perhaps, but is quite wonderful

Wonderfalls is another quirky favorite of mine. Jaye Tyler, a philosophy major, holds a dead-end job as a sales clerk at a Niagara Falls gift shop. Weird thing is, the knick-knacks in the shop start talking to her a wax lion, brass monkey, stuffed bear, and mounted fish, among others, giving her sideways instructions that seem to help people in need. Sounds ridiculous but it works.

I could go on and on, I assure you, but I'll stop for now. :)

will have to check those out - love catching series late then I can watch a bunch at a time