This picture tell the basic story of the 21 AM date.
I bought my last platoon of Shermans, planning to try a push up the southern edge of the map. The first order of business was to take out the PzIV threatening my right flank from K34. I thought I'd swarm it with Shermans, turn it over, and move on. That plan.....uh....didn't go...well.
Between the Panzer IV, the 'schrek squad lurking nearby, and a panther standing overwatch from a few hexes back, the attempt cost me four shermans and left the Panzer standing. I would eventually knock it out with a bazooka shot later in the game. Even calling that a "moral victory" seems like an overstatement.
In the north, the pre-game bombardment rubbled the Oustalou, killing the infantry therein, and allowing the US infantry to move up and take the VP location. That was the extent of progress in the north.
So, when the main thrust in the south floundered, there wasn't much more to do. I conceded the campaign on turn five. This is where it stood:
So, after all that we more or less came to the conclusion that this analysis was basically correct. The real problem at this point was that outside of jeeps and artillery, I simply didn't have anything more to buy until the morning of the 23rd.
Prior to 23rd AM, the Americans get to buy five infantry platoons (plus one armored infantry platoon), and four platoons of shermans. The Germans get eight SS inf platoon (6-5-8), and four engineer platoons (8-3-8.) They also get seven panther sections and three tiger sections.
In fairness, the German infantry is more expensive. The armor is not only more expensive, but a section is only two vehicles (one if depleted.) Still the Americans through the first several dates are attacking eight morale troops with six morale troops. Oh. And those eight morale troops are backed up by AFVs that the US can not hurt on a front shot with anything in their OB. Pretty tough.
So the attack was out of steam. If we had played it out, I think the US strategy would have been to keep using attack chits for the next several dates, but not actually attacking. By generating a scenario you can conduct bombardments and use artillery. More importantly, you make the Germans keep rolling for ammo shortage. They may also try to move a vehicle or two and fail an "out of gas" roll. That didn't sound like a lot of fun.
Then, on 23 AM massive US reinforcements can enter from the west and we have a new game. It might have been interesting to see if the US would have had a chance to sweep the map in two dates with all that firepower, air support and clear weather. I doubt it, but it might have been fun. In any case, getting there would have been tedious and dull.
In the end, if you actually get to 23AM, you must be left to wonder why you bothered playing the previous eleven dates.
I've been keeping this under my hat for a few years, as I've been lucky to contribute in some small way to play testing this module. I'm biased, but I think the ASL world will be pretty happy with KGS. Andy and his crew put a lot of work into this. The results are 2 campaign games and 15 scenarios ranging from very large to "tourney sized." All of them are meticulously researched and vigorously play tested.
The winter campaign and scenarios are compelling. They really have the feel of a German army not only trying to fight off the Russian horde, but also desperately trying to cope with "General Winter." The Extreme Winter / Deep Snow rules don't see a lot of play these days, and they really do present interesting choices for both attacker and defender, especially over the course of the winter campaign game.
I hope people will take a look and consider it. It's good stuff.
...adding...Chris at Battleschool has posted a more detailed look at the product and the battle of Cholm itself here.