I've dabbled with Chronos Protocol decks in the past, but when I saw Complete Image was spoiled I knew I had to try again.
The way to play this deck changes as agendas are scored or stolen. In the beginning you want to be trying to aggressively score agendas when they turn up until the runner gets 3 or more points. If the runner tries to contest early it only takes a single net damage to see their hand, and snipe the card most disruptive to your plans. Knowledge of a single card in the runner's hand can often be leveraged into a kill later on in the game, though this does make memory more important than in other decks.
Once the runner has stolen 3 or more points you can setup for a kill, you also need to become more defensively minded, protecting HQ and R&D depending on where the agendas and Complete Images are. You may also need to bait a cautious runner into running once you have your kill ready.
The kill: you need to get the runner to 2 cards in hand without causing any net damage, then if you know 1 card in hand Complete Image (or Punitive if they just stole a 3-pointer) will finish them off. Enforced Curfew and the Salem cards are what will get them down to 2, and I have surprised several runners who thought they were safe on 5 cards.
Ultimately this deck has a lot of possible pieces it can use in it’s kill turn and each needs to be played around in different ways, this deck can and has killed many an unwary runner.
Some notes about card choice:
The ice suite is designed to be cheap and taxing, but also to help provide information on the runners hand through net damage or the Slot Machine encounter trigger.
House of Knives: can make punitive less effective but is a great source of non-ice net damage for scouting the runner’s hand.
Hokusai Grid: Another non-ice source of net damage useful for scouting and sniping, and the 4 trash cost can help keep the runner poor enough to land a Punitive.
Ibrahim Salem: Great for slamming out unprotected or behind a single piece of ice and just left there. Leave it unrezzed until you are ready to kill (forfeiting a 3-pointer if need be), if the runner trashes it then I’m happy for them to have spent the 5 credits. Its broad criteria for trashing a card make it useful if the runner isn’t giving anything away about their hand (most decks have 1 or 2 common card types).
Salem’s Hospitality: Often a key part of the kill combo, if you know a single card the runner has, then you can trash it and learn the rest of their hand. Additionally it will trash all copies of the named card, so if the runner is holding duplicates this card can trash 2 or more cards. Because of this I will often avoid sniping duplicate cards with the ID trigger on previous turns.
Standard Procedure: An important scouting and econ card combined. Good as a click one play when you need more info or credits before going for the kill, great if you need both.
Performance at Nottingham SC:
3 - 0 against; Lat, Hailey and Stabby Max, getting kills in each game.
Game 1 - Lela (Played by Paul): I mulliganed into a no ice hand and he plays DooF turn 1 and steals a HoK, a few turns later he steals an Obokata with 5 cards in hand and I snipe the Embezzle but a second DooF is left in his hand. I fortify HQ and end up with a hand of 2 x Salem’s Hospitality and a Complete Image. I spend a few turns gathering credits while he is running R&D, and I’m feeling the pressure. Once I’m at 8 credits I fire the first Salem’s for the DooF that he still hasn’t played, seeing 2 x Inside Job and 2 other cards, my 2nd Salem’s hits the Inside Jobs and Complete Image finishes him off.
Game 2 - Maxx (Played by Russ): He’s on Stabby Maxx and gets to 4 points fairly quickly, I try building a combo but he gets Maw down and I can’t quite keep enough kill pieces together and we get to time before I can score my second agenda.
A big thanks to Matt for organising and running this tournament and for the great prize support. Also a big thanks to all the players and in particular to Paul and Russ who were kind opponents in my first ever cut..