Junkers have shown unprecedented expansion during this era, and their vast legions threaten the stability of the whole galaxy. The current situation, with the whole of Pan-Humanic Space teetering on the brink of total war suits the Ironglass Senate well enough. They are using the chaos to fuel even further expansion, swelling their legions and extending their imperial power base. Junkers, ever the underdog in the Tripartite Alliance, see the Age of Tyrants as an opportunity to seize control from the rich powers and perhaps even conquer the galaxy in the name of the Senate.
The Junkers’ Homeworld is Ironglass, in the Viridia Solaris star system. Ironglass is a large desert world, where, due to a quirk in its orbit, one side is constantly baked by the local star Solaris, and the other exposed to the dark chill of space. In a thin band around the terminator, called the Meridian, human habitation was possible, so Viridia established a penal colony there to process ferrous deposits from the desert. Ironglass challenged Viridia for independence in the Second War of Secession, eventually winning it in 2580. The new rulers of Ironglass were used to a society in which life was cheap and power best wielded through force, and ever since the Junkers have been brutal, despotic and imperialistic.
Junkers favour marginal worlds with arid or desert climates on which their topsoil and sand processing technologies can eke every gram of resources from the world. They pride themselves on making a living where others cannot; subsisting on what most would consider leavings. Their settlements are often beneath ground, based on the Ironglass model, and are dirty, dangerous and polluted places worked by slave labour.
Junkers, as their very name suggests, don’t have much in the way of their own technological developments. Their engineering know how lies in taking wreckage and detritus of the other powers and transforming it into something functional. Sometimes the tech they appropriate is genuine scrap, sometimes it is battlefield plunder or outright pirate loot. This paradigm goes right back to the Second War of Secession, wherein the original Junker rebels adapted mining equipment and vehicles, repurposing them as weapons to use against their Viridian enemies.
In battle, the Junkers are a numerically superior force that excels in medium to close range combat. The strategy of Junker commanders relies on suppressing superior ranged combat enemies with artillery, allowing their legions to get to close quarters. Advancing into enemy fire can be hugely costly in lives, but one thing the Junkers have no shortage of is manpower. Consequently discipline and morale are poor, but the leaders have ways of ensuring obedience. Support is in the form of crude but effective armour, artillery and troop transports.