As the redcoats consolidate their position on the French right (just out of shot on the right), the 4th Dragoon Guards led by General Ferguson sweep into the rear of the French horse
As may recall, at the end of the first act, the French had lost an objective on their right to a bold move by British infantry, supported by a regiment of the 4th Dragoon Guards. This left them in dire straits as it meant that any attempt to withdraw in the face of the British advance would likely be cut off. The French generals decided to risk an attack on the left, hitting the point where the British line was held by Portuguese troops, rather than attempting to retake the objective in the hope of throwing the British plans into dissarray.
This was a tense moment as the British were sitting on some good cards. If they surrendered the iniative by going into square and tying up part of their hand, there was a good chance that the their plans on the French right could grind to a halt. On the other hand, the French cavalry, tougher than their Allied counterparts were in a position to crush the vulnerable Portuguese. It didn't help matters that French infantry were moving up to support the cavalry charge and would riddle a square if one was formed.
In the end the Portuguese formed square and managed to drive off the French cavalry, but not without casualties themselves. Meanwhile, the French infantry got closer and closer...
On the French left things suddenly took a turn for the (even) worse as throwing caution to the wind, the 4th Dragoon Guards routed their foes completely with some rather special dice rolling.
(it is unclear whether General Von Casey is eating the horse shown in the previous picture, records from the period are sketchy at best)
This left the French reeling as it looked like the redcoats were going to sweep in from the left and roll up the whole position. The French were left with an even more unattractive proposition, they could push where they were winning, on their left or where they were losing, on their right. But they could not do both.
Eventually after some discussion they decided that something had to be done about the British cavalry on their right and they pulled the 22ieme ligne out of the line and sent them under one of General Delaborde's aides to drive off Les Roast Bifs.
The 22nd Ligne having moved out of the line, charged the 4th Dragoon Guards who fell back, but then ran into the guns of the Inniskillings who met them with a volley that tore the heart out of the regiment.
Archangel Michael protect us in battle...
The French attack on the left moved forward and bayonet charged Trants Portuguese while they were still in square. This left the Portuguese teetering on the edge of collapse, though they managed to hold on for another turn. The Cacadores in the woods began to look distinctly shifty as the French hammer blow descended.
On the French right on the other hand, things were not looking so rosy
The 4th Dragoon Guards were poised to charge again, when a second roaring volley of French infantry symbols from the Inniskillings finished the 22ieme. General Delaborde's aide was lucky to escape with his life and was left with the uneviable decision of fleeing the field entirely or attempting to outrun an entire squadron of British cavalry.
If British dice were hot on the French right, the French dice were on fire on the right. A single volley from the 2nd battalion of the 62ieme Ligne wiped out the Cacadores to a man and only damnable luck on the part of the first battalion spared the 12th Line from complete destruction. However, it looked like this was about the change as the 2nd battalion swung around.
The Generals Von Casey paused for a moment to check a very important point...