Q: In Über/Chrononauts, how many paradoxes per row will blow up the universe if I have my timeline laid out with other than eight cards per row?

A: Luckily for you, fan Ryan Hackel asked himself this very question, and did the math to find out the answer! See his answer below:

In UberChrononauts, the universe is destroyed if, at any time, there are 13 paradoxes within any four consecutive rows of the timeline. (This is especially important to Crazy Joe, the Lost ID who wins by crashing the universe.)

But, if your game table is like mine, it has a hard time holding all 64 timeline cards in the traditional 8×8 arrangement (69 with the Gore Years). More often than not, I have to arrange the timeline in a different configuration to make it fit conveniently, with 9, 10, or even 12 cards per row as the table size dictates.

But wait, if I change the number of rows, it also messes with the number of possible paradoxes in each row. If there are more or less than 8 cards per row, the magic number 13 for timeline collapse is no longer valid!

So, I’ve done the math. For timeline configurations between 6 and 14 cards per row, I counted the number of Ripplepoints per row (always with the Gore Years included). Then I summed up the number of Ripplepoints per every set of four consecutive rows, and took an average. Then I compared the average Ripplepoint density against that of the usual 8-per-row timeline, and scaled the magic 13 accordingly.


6 cards per row = 9 paradoxes within four rows
7 cards per row = 11 paradoxes within four rows
8 cards per row = 13 paradoxes within four rows
9 cards per row = 14 paradoxes within four rows
10 cards per row = 16 paradoxes within four rows
11 cards per row = 17 paradoxes within four rows
12 cards per row = 19 paradoxes within four rows
13 cards per row = 20 paradoxes within four rows
14 cards per row = 23 paradoxes within four rows

Note that the number of paradoxes is approximately 1.6x the number of cards per row, in case you need a quick rule of thumb.

Q: The ÜberChrononauts rules card says “On your turn, Draw 2, Discard 1, and Play 1.” How does that work exactly?

Does that mean you draw 2 cards, keep 1 and discard the other, or do you draw 2 cards, add them to your hand, discard any card you choose from your hand, then play a card?

A: The latter. It’s kind of like a game of Fluxx, if the rules at the time were Draw 2 plus a New Rule called Discard 1 which, if it existed, would require you to discard 1 card between the Draw and Play parts of your turn.

Q: How does Crazy Joe work in ÜberChrononauts?

A: In regular Chrononauts, the game ends immediately if the Universe is destroyed, with everyone losing – unless Crazy Joe was in the game, in which case he wins. However, in UberChrononauts, the game wouldn’t be able to continue if Crazy Joe meets his goal, and since the UberGoal requires you to accomplish more than just your character’s conditions, the universe needs to be kept from collapsing in order for the game to work.

Fortunately, there’s this special team of Time Police agents, who have been pursuing Crazy Joe across the timestream for eons, who will suddenly show up to solve this problem if it occurs.

Here’s what happens: Crazy Joe is credited with having destroyed the Universe, which teeters on the brink of destruction but doesn’t actually collapse. (The player keeps the ID card face up on the table thereafter, indicating that this part of the UberGoal is complete.) Then the Time Police rule described below is used to put the TimeLine back in order enough for the game to continue. (And while they’re busy keeping Time intact, Crazy Joe gets away scot-free! Laughing maniacally, of course.)

The Time Police Rule:
If the Universe is on the brink of destruction, and it would be awkward for the game to end without an actual winner, a special team of Time Police agents will suddenly step in to save the universe. This is done by giving all players an imaginary Restore History card, which each player must immediately use in turn on the Red Linchpin of their choice. After everyone has done their share of repair work, the Time Police will vanish and the game continues as usual with the next player. But the Time Police will not return. If the Universe is destroyed a second time, it really does get destroyed, and all players are considered losers.

Q: In ÜberChrononauts, what happens to Chrono-FRED or the Head-in-a-Jar when their goal is complete?

A: When you get a FRED/Head victory, you take that Mission/ID for your own, and discard both the Gadget and your own uncompleted Missions/IDs. However, if you have FRED or the Head but accomplish your own Mission or ID, you reveal your card, discard your extra, and then simply retain the Gadget. At that point, it becomes useless to you; but FRED and the Head retain their mission/ID cards, and they stay in your possession. The Head is still who he is, and FRED is still programmed to complete that Mission, so the Gadgets stay in play as usual.

Q: In ÜberChrononauts, can someone Get There First and steal your completed Mission or ID, or Gold Watch?

A: No. The flipped up card (Mission or ID) or the symbolic Gold Watch is only an outward, physical representation of the work that you’ve done. It’s the work that matters. No one can steal the work you’ve accomplished (nor can they trade it out with New Mission). The work itself is done, past, finished… intangible, therefore unstealable (and unsellable*). The cards mentioned are only an indications of the work, not the work itself.

* The collectors who buy up Artifacts are not interested in it for any Missions (the Midas Mission, Futuristic Alchemist) OR the Sell An Artifact “Midas Bonus”. As another FAQ posits: it’s probably electroplate anyhow.