Hedgerow Hell

- Risus WW2 Infantry Combat

Copyright 2002 Lars Erik Larsen

Vers. 1.00

This Risus supplement builds upon the basic Risus rules. Risus is a free RPG lite system made by S. John Ross.

Hedgerow Hell takes place in Normandy, France 1944 after D-day but it could easily be ajusted for another front or another period. It is a squad level wargame RPG. You have no control over artillery and air support. Your job is to fight your way through the next hedgerow, the next farm, the next village, and survive doing it.

The GM will set up campaign and mission goals. After each mission wounded are cured and survivors roll for advancement. Those killed create a new soldier.

Hooks, tales and pumping are allowed. Double pumps and inappropriate clichés are not allowed.

Please send me your comments and play experiences.

Recruiting a Soldier

A soldier is created from 10-12 dice and looks like this:


a-f symbolizes number of dice for the cliché. 12g, 3h and i are counters. The 12 dice are only used on those clichés marked with a "*" (and maybe extra ammo/grenades).


Rank clichés go from 1 to 4. Once rank rises to 4 it advances: Pvt(4) = Cpl(1). Each time a new rank is reached you get a 1 die bonus to add to a cliche of choice.

  • Pvt.
  • Cpl.
  • Sgt.
  • 2nd Lt.
  • 1st Lt.


The role cliché is used for attacking and uses a modified funky dice system where the dice type to use depends on the range to target. Normal funky dice purchasing points are not used i.e. your role level has no effect on the levels available for your other clichés. Only one soldier can have each role except the rifleman role. The role your soldier has in the squad is one of the following:

H2H = Hand to hand combat (0-5 meter)
S   = Short range (about 5-200 meter)
M   = Medium range (about 200-400 meter)
L   = Long range (about 400-600 meter)

             H2H S   M   L   Special
Rifleman     d8  d6  d6  d6
SMG gunner   d8  d10 d6  -
MG gunner    d6  d6  d12 d10 slow
Sniper       d6  d6  d10 d8  >=10 kills
Squad leader d8  d8  d6  d6  rally
Medic        d6  d6  d6  d6  heal
Grenadier    d6  d6  d6  d6  AT (S:d10)

Role can be changed by scavenging a fallen soldiers weapon i.e. role. It will be at your former level but no higher than level 2. After the mission you get your original role back.


The rifleman is the normal grunt. This role is the only one that more than one player can have.

SMG Gunner

The small machine gunner can not fire at long range.

MG Gunner

The machine gunner can only move at half speed. It takes 1 action to set it up for firing and to take it down for moving.


You can not start out as a sniper. You can only become one with training. A rifleman with 10 kills may be promoted to sniper if there is not already a sniper in the squad.

Squad Leader

The Squad Leader is the commanding officer and the only one capable of rallying pinned and suppressed soldiers.

If the squad leader is killed or heavily wounded command is temporarily passed on to the soldier next in command. He becomes leader and looses his old role for the duration of the mission.


The medic is the only one capable of treating wounded. He can save the life of heavily wounded and cure lightly wounded.

If the medic is killed, heavily wounded or promoted to leader the medic role is temporarily passed on to the corporal with the lowest rank level or to a soldier chosen by the squad leader. He becomes medic and looses his old role for the duration of the mission.


The grenadier has besides his rifle an anti-tank weapon with 3 grenades. He has a AT-grenade(3) cliché to keep track of his AT ammo. He may fire his AT weapon only at short range and with d10's. He uses the same number of dice both for his rifle and his AT weapon.


The morale cliché signifies your mental state and is also the cliché used for defending.

Lost morale is regained 1 dice for each round you are not under fire. When it reaches 3 you are free to take action again and no longer need to be rallied.

If morale drops to:

<=0: Routed

If you are able to stand up you will head straight for the nearest exit from the battle. You will continue to try to leave even if this puts you under fire. You will not engage in any fighting. If you make it away from the battle alive you are out of the battle but may join in again next mission. You are degraded to previous rank.

1: Suppressed

You will stay put or dive to any nearby cover and stay there even if ordered otherwise. You will not fire even if ordered otherwise. A Leader may rally you if he can get in contact with you. If assaulted you will defend yourself with hand to hand combat.

2: Pinned

You will stay put or dive to any nearby cover and stay there even if ordered otherwise. You can still fire and defend yourself. A Leader may rally you if he can get in contact with you.


The health cliché signifies your physical state.

If health drops to:

<=0: killed

Soldier is out of the game. Recruit a new soldier for next mission.

1: heavily wounded

Can not fight anymore (i.e. is out of the mission but may join in again next mission). Need medic help to survive. If medic arrives in time roll 1d6. 3-6 saves life. Medic gains imidiately +1 dice to his Morale cliché. If dead medic suffers -1 to his Morale.

2: lightly wounded

Can continue fighting but looses 1 Weapon Cliché die unless cured by medic. When medic arrives roll 1d6. 3-6 heals wound. Medic gains imidiately +1 dice to his Morale cliché. Else medic suffers -1 to his Morale.


If the Squad Leader is in contact with a pinned or suppressed soldier he may try to rally him by rolling his leader cliché against 9 minus the soldiers morale cliché. If successful the rallied soldier's morale is raised to 3 and he is once again free to take action. His morale will continue to rise to its original level for each round he is not under fire.

Spotting and Stealth

You may not engage an enemy you have not spotted. You might find yourself under fire without being able to see from where. To try to spot an enemy roll your spotting cliché against his stealth cliché. To try to remain undetected by an enemy roll your stealth cliché against his spotting cliché.

If you are consealed or in cover you can not be spotted unless you do an action that breaks your cover e.g. you try to spot or shoot an enemy. Once you break cover the enemy might spot you. If you broke cover with a low intensity action such as a spotting attempt you roll with d8's instead of d6's on your stealth roll.

If you have spotted an enemy you may on your next turn fire at him. If he is still visible you fire normaly and if he no longer visible you may still fire at the general area where you spotted him allthough you may then only attack with half your role dice.


Gives 1 free dice added to a cliché of choice at creation.

  • Fanatic: might disobey defensive orders. Cannot be routed or suppressed.
  • Coward: might disobey offensive orders.
  • Beserker: if morale<=2 at any point in a mission: roll 1d6.
    5 or 6 will make soldier go beserk and assault disregarding any route, suppress or pin.
  • Unstable: if morale<=3: becomes temporarily anyone of the above. Roll 1d6 to see who.
  • Old wound: cannot move as fast and for as long as normal.
  • Stress related blindness: Before every firing attack. Roll 1d6: 1 means partially blinded for the duration of the firing action which can only be rolled with 1 die.
  • Shivers: After each firing action you must spend 1 action recovering from shivers.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome: After each mission (after healing any wounds) roll 1d6. 1-2 means you suffer a stroke and loose (1d6)/2 health dice.
  • ...and others of your own choice

Extra Ammo and Handgrenades

All soldiers are equipped with ammo for 12 firing rounds and with 3 handgrenades.

Extra ammo or handgrenades can be purchased at mission start or may be taken from other soldiers after mission start. Of course ammo must fit your current weapon.

12 extra ammo rounds or 3 extra handgrenades cost 1 die of the role cliché. When extra ammo has been used up the role cliché regains the dice used for the purchase.

Mission start

As long as it is "all clear" i.e. no enemy spotted or shots fired play is handled as in normal Risus. Once there is contact play is tightened with initiative rolls.


The player with highest initiative roll do a single action first and so on until the action round is over when all have had a turn. The initiative roll is the sum of a d6 roll with both role cliché and morale cliché dice.

A single action is what can be accomplished in a relatively short time. Examples are:

  • fire a round of ammo
  • throw a handgrenade
  • attempt to spot enemy
  • set up or take down MG
  • run a half range unit
  • sneak a few meters
  • assault from half of short range
  • dive to nearby cover
  • try to unjam weapon
  • reload
  • perform medic help
  • rally


Range is measured as being either short, medium or long. It takes 2 action rounds to run from one range to another if you run straight. Running at an angle takes 3 action rounds or more.

The MG gunner can only run at half normal speed.

There is one range more: being right next to target. At this range combatants will engage in hand-to-hand combat instead of ordinary combat.


Weather can be good, bad or really bad. It can change during missions.

Bad: long range aiming and spotting is impossible. Really bad: medium and long range aiming and spotting is impossible.

Temperature can be hot, normal or cold. For hot and cold temperatures morale and health both suffers -1 die at mission start.


Combat differs from basic Risus combat in that the defender does not fight back until it is his turn as shown by his initiative roll or maybe he does not fight back at all but tries to do some other action. Combat is more like the basic Risus "Single Action Conflict" but with teams allowed. This also means that combatant teams can change from round to round and that soldiers may be rallied or healed in the "middle of combat".

Forming of teams for combat (Basic Risus rule) is allowed and done by the Squad Leader. He may form a team with those of his soldiers that he has contact with who have line of sight to the target. They loose their turn and on his turn they all fire coordinated as a fire team.


If you are in cover you defend with d8's instead of d6's on your morale roll. A soldier in cover who does not break his cover can not be wounded by direct fire only by grenades. If he breaks cover by firing or trying to spot he can be wounded.


Attacker uses his weapon cliché against defenders morale cliché.

Attack roll > defend roll

defender looses 1 morale cliché die

Attack roll >= 2 * defend roll

defender looses 1 morale cliché die and 1d6 health dice


After every 3 firing rounds you must reload which takes 1 action round. You must check for jamming on your first firing action after loading. Roll 1d6. On a 1 your weapon jams and can not fire. Your attack is canceled so if you were undetected before your attempt the target will have no knowledge of your firing attempt. On your next or a later turn you may try to unjam by rolling 1d6. 4-6 will unjam your weapon.

Handgrenade Attacks

Handgrenade attacks are rolled with d10's using the number of dice of the role cliché. Affects all soldiers nearby. Survivors are stunned for 1 round.

Attack roll > defend roll

defender looses 1 role, health, morale, spotting and stealth cliché die

Attack roll >= 2 * defend roll

defender looses 1 role, morale, spotting and stealth cliché die and 1d6 health dice

After the Mission

If a soldier is not rallied when the mission ends he rally by himself. If a soldier is wounded when the mission ends he is cured before next mission.

After missions usual cliché advancement rolls are made.


If the mission was a success you get morale advancement and need not roll for it.


If a new rank is reached you get a 1 die bonus to add to a cliche of choice.

Combat Fatigue

After a soldiers first mission he gets the new cliché, Combat Fatigue(1). After every of his following missions he must also roll for advancement in that cliché. Combat fatigue is subtracted from morale and role at mission start.


The Squad Leader may award worthy soldiers with a medal after a mission: Medaltype(number of times recieved) e.g. PurpleHeart(2). The medal cliché is not rolled for advancement.

Promotion to Sniper

A rifleman with 10 kills may be promoted to sniper if there is not already a sniper in the squad.

Gaining New Clichés

Examples of clichés that may be aquired over time in agreement with the GM:

  • Courage
  • Stamina
  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Agility
  • Hand to hand combat
  • Radio operating
  • Map reading
  • ...and others of your own choice

Special Weapons and Vehicles

Other weapons and vehicles such as:

  • Tank Mine
  • Personel mine
  • Tank
  • Assault gun/tank destroyer
  • AT Gun
  • Halftrack
  • Truck
  • Jeep
  • Fighter plane
  • Fighter bomber
  • Dive Bomber
  • Bomber
  • Transport plane
can be part of a mission but should mostly just add flavor and be NPC.


Each post should contain only one action. Posting could be done using a dice server such as http://www.pbm.com/dice. You may post once every 24 hours (for example). Not posting means doing nothing that turn.

Hex Map Play

These rules could be used for playing on a hex map. Players would then need to decide on how many hexes to use for short, medium and long range, for movement distances and grenade explosion area.

Simpler Version

The role cliché is used for morale also. A scout cliché replaces spotting and stealth.

Please send me your comments and play experiences.