Maréchal Villars and the Elector of Bavaria were in concord with the plan of action, but the Elector still expressed concerns over the Margrave von Baden-Baden’s whereabouts. Having departed Augsburg, the Margrave was moving toward a juncture with Count Styrum, and with some reluctance expressed by the Elector, the French-Bavarian columns marched toward Höchstädt. Hours into their march, the tell-tale sign of an engagement was clearly underway. Villars hastened their march until scouts reported the Imperial camp. Villars then ordered deployment into line of battle.
Warned that Villars has arrived, Count Styrum leaves the heavy cavalry to pursue D’Usson back to Höchstädt and requests the Prince of Anhalt-Dessau take the left flank and secure an anchor on the River Nebel while the Austrians will hold the right flank . As the camp and supply train are lost, the army must give battle. Depending on the course of events, if the day should be lost then they would fall back to Nordlingen.
Photo one (14.00 hrs.) French have taken the Allied camp and supply train.
Photo two and three (14.15 - 45 hrs.) Allies have reversed course. Prussians will set up a defensive line along the Nebel River while the Austrians regroup.
Photo four (15.00 hrs.) With the river line secured, the Prussians begin extending their left flank to allow Count Styrum to place his Austrians along the Nebel. Imperial cavalry are returning from Höchstädt.
Photo five – seven (15.15 – 15.45 hrs.) The French have moved in formation toward the Nebel river with the cavalry extending both flanks. The Bavarians have moved into position to support the river crossing. The banks of the Nebel are defensible so crossing would be done by columns with battalion fire and artillery giving covering fire. This will take time.
Photo eight – twelve (16.00 – 17.00 hrs.) After several failed crossings, Villars moves his cavalry further on the left flank prompting the Austrians to reply likewise. Having conferred with the Elector, two columns of Horse and foot are to circuit the woods and cross the Nebel further upstream. The Elector would move the Bavarian forward and extend the right flank to face the Prussian line.
Photo thirteen – fourteen (17.15 – 30 hrs.) The Bavarians force a river crossing upstream while Villars crosses the Nebel. Sunset is still hours away and sensing the inevitable Count Styrum a second line nearer the Prussian line anchored at the foothills. Timing was crucial and he needed all the available cavalry for this.
Up to this point, the Imperial cavalry on the right (off picture) were drawn into a cat and mouse game with French cavalry attempting to cross the Nebel. The Imperial horse were now given orders to withdraw and regroup on the road to Nordlingen.
Photo fifteen (17.45 hrs.) Villars has secured his river crossing and shortly will be supported by heavy cavalry. The Bavarians have succeeded at one point a crossing, but the Allies are slowly being forced back. At this moment, the Bavarian sunlight crossed the field of battle, definitely a message.
Game assessment and design notes.