Thanks for the time reference, which makes it so much easier to answer.
Here is your file back:
There are two things, first the obvious: There was no Step Effector in your scene.
The second part is not that obvious, and I get that often: The Clone Object> Object> Instance Mode was set to Multi-Instance. This means that the Cloner will produce a single clone, and every other clone in the scene will be a twin of this. There is no difference in animation. If you set it back to default (Instance), it will show the animation according to the Step Effector’s keyframe offset.
Effectors typically change the information each clone receives initially from the Cloner. The critical question is, what information is provided from the clone at its current state/position, etc., and what data is used from it to do what, based on the Effector’s function and setting, including Falloff/Fields.
So the old: “what do I have, what do I want and what do I get” game.
Since each Effector has a different purpose, it would be impossible to give a full idea about, without getting nearly to the amount of information provided in tutorials or the manual. My short answer is “follow the money (AKA information!)”.
You will see that this kind of inquiry of your set up will increase your knowledge about hem much faster than just memorize it.
My best wishes