Basij Infantry Company
"Henceforth, until the enemies have been driven from the territory of the republic, the French people are in permanent requisition for army service. The young men shall go to battle; the married men shall forge arms and transport provision; the women shall make tents and clothes, and shall serve in the hospitals; the children shall turn old linen into lint; the old men shall repair to the public places, to stimulate the courage of the warriors and preach the unity of the Republic and hatred of kings"
- – The opening lines of the Decree of the Levée en Masse, issued in 1793
"Let's see them fight ALL OF US! "
- – Imperial Guardsmen, dawn of war
The Basij (meaning literally, the Mobilization or the Movement) were an all-volunteer paramilitary militia branch, before their merger into the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Following that, they were an official militia. The Basji didn't change much during the Iran-Iraq Wars, and though untrained and without any kind of vehicles to hide behind, sheer fanaticism is their sword and armor. It's a real pity that doesn't work too well against bullets.
In Team Yankee
Once upon a time, a battlefront developer decided that the Iranians needed a human-wave unit that laughed at the Czechs and the Basij were born.
The Basij are Team Yankee's first footsloggers that do not begin the game in transports, and are the only infantry with a 4+ save.
WIth a maximum strength of 25 AKM teams and 12 RPG-7 teams, the Basij is the Iranian equivalent of a super-sized motor-rifle company. While their armament may not be much to boast of compared to the Iranian mechanized platoon, they have a totally different role in the Iranian list: placing a massive blob in your enemy's face with spearhead deployments with fixed bayonets.
The Basij have two unique rules; Basij assault and martyrs. Martyrs gives you a 6" charge distance while Basij assault allows your troops to spearhead during the deployment phase but only if placed in the regular deployment zone, and have the usual limitations on spearheading. They also lose bulletproof cover, as a result of charging in the open with hymns to the almighty.
Unlike the mechanized platoon which has enough anti-armor weapons to put holes in vehicles and sideshotting tanks and 16” MG3s to fight infantry with, the Basij should be expected to fight enemy infantry under the cover of smoke and have enough bodies to beat nearly all infantry in close combat. Unfortunately, your army of fanatical martyrs has a 4+ Infantry Save to offset their rather excellent 3+ Morale, Courage, Rally, Assault and Counterattack. They cost less than their Soviet spam counterparts too: 6 points gets you 9 AK teams and 4 RPG teams while 22 points gets you 25 AK and 12 RPG teams.
Here's the kicker: at such a low cost, these units can tarpit almost as well as the Czechs, with the advantage of having excellent morale. Hit by artillery? You'll get back into the fight on a 3+. Took 8 hits of MG fire? 3+ to get back in the fight. Without transports or heavy machine guns and support weapons, they'll be a poor match against enemy infantry in a fair fight. Fortunately, you're bringing enough troops to tilt the odds in your favour and scare the crap out of an opponent who doesn't know how to deal with Napoleanic blocks of the righteous literally marching over their enemies. They might not be the most well-trained troops, but their armaments and numbers can seriously hurt any unit that gets too close.
Aside from the Basij infantry battalion, the T-62 tank company is the only other list that can bring Basij to the field.
The Basji started out as your standard paramilitary youth toughs for the new revolutionary government, but they were quickly mobilized by the Iranian government into an ad-hoc milita force shortly after the Iran-Iraq war started. The Basji's ranks were open and encouraged membership from the age of twelve to eighty, with very little training (if any) given. Similar to the Volksgrenadiers of Nazi Germany during the last days of the Third Reich and the revolutionary mobs of the first French Republic the performance of the Basji was mixed at best. At times, their fanatical nature gave them the edge in night raids into the Iraqi lines, the dark making up for a lack of armor or transport besides their own feet in closing with the enemy. At other points, Basji units were used as human mine clearers and machine gun bait, paving the way for the better trained army units or softening up resistance with human wave attacks. The casualties they suffered during offensive operations was wildly disproportionate with that of any other unit.
Don't worry about that though, they were all given a key to heaven when they signed up.
|Iranian Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||T-55 - T-62 - M60 Patton - Chieftain|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier|
|Troops:||Iranian Mechanized Platoon - Basij Infantry Company|
|Artillery:||M109 Howitzer - BM-21 Hail - M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier|
|Anti-Aircraft:||ZSU 23-4 Shilka - ZSU-57-2 - SA-8 Gecko|
|Tank Hunters:||Jeep TOW - M113 106mm Recoilless|
|Aircraft:||AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter|
|Soviet Support:||SU-25 Frogfoot|