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Queen Victoria died in January, marking a literal and symbolic end to the "Victorian" era. Two new powers — the United States and Japan — were entering the world stage, even as many in the old guard began to creak under the weight of their own might. Communism, in the person of Vladimir Ilych Lenin, had begun to rear its head in Czarist Russia. Technology and the industrial revolution were changing everything, including the weapons of war. And while the "Boxer Rebellion" in China was easily quashed, the incident demonstrated growing resentment of European dominance.
It was into this powder keg that the first Martian cinder fell, in a Surrey field during the spring of 1901.
Iron Stars™ is a game of space combat in an age of steam and steel. Set in a fictional universe based loosely on the writings of H. G. Wells and other fantasists, it provides a back story and ship designs from an alternate history in which the Martian Invasion actually happened, the ether is all-pervasive, and Cavorite is a reality. But, as with Starmada and other Majestic Twelve Games products, the focus is on players' imaginations; a clear and concise ship construction system is provided so you can pit your own space dreadnoughts against the likes of the Royal Navy Ether Squadron or the German Äthermarine.