|This is the article on the location in the games. If you are looking for the article on the mission in Homeworld, see HW Campaign: Great Wastelands. For other uses, see Great Wastelands|
The Great Wastelands is a large area of space between the Outer Rim and the Galactic Core, part of the Outer Rim dust bank. It is mainly filled with asteroid belts and nebulae. The Great Nebula and Diamond Shoals are located here.
After the destruction of Kharak, Fleet Intelligence plotted a course to a deep-space asteroid belt located in the Great Wastelands to resupply and gain strength for revenge. Shortly after their arrival, the Kushan met the Bentusi for the first time who sold them plans for building Ion Cannons. Soon after this they were attacked by a Raider fleet. However with their new frigates reverse-engineered from a captured Taiidan Assault Frigate and the Ion Cannons, the Kushan were able to wipe out the enemy forces with ease. Finally the Raider Attack Carrier appeared to turn the tides. However, the Kushan fleet was just too strong, leading to the carrier's attempted retreat and destruction by the Mothership Fleet in order to prevent them from warning the Taiidan fleet from the Mothership's existence.
From flight recordings gained from the captured Taiidan frigate, Fleet Intelligence determined that while the assault on the Scaffold was underway, the attackers were heavily damaged by Kharak's Missile Defense System. The Mothership Fleet ambushed the weakened fleet in another asteroid belt, gaining revenge. This, however, alerted the Empire to their presence, leading to the reinforcement of several border outposts. To avoid them, the Exiles took a dangerous detour through a turbulent asteroid field and penetrated Taiidan territory through the most dangerous place in the whole Wastelands: the Garden of Kadesh
After encountering the Kadeshi and forcing their way through the nebula, the Exiles encounter a mysterious, ancient ship in deep space, surrounded by derelicts of Taiidan, Raider, and Kadeshi origin. Upon investigation, Fleet Intelligence was alarmed by the fact that the crews of their Capital Ships reported loss of systems control due to some kind of "control field". The situation was complicated further upon discovering that the "derelicts" around the vessel were indeed active and opened fire upon Kushan strike craft. Quickly determining that the source of the field was the ancient vessel, a full attack commenced with significant Kushan losses, due to a Missile Destroyer among the defenders. Although weapons fire had minimal effect on the alien vessel, each hit caused a tiny fluctuation in the control field. This culminated in the field being disabled by continuous, focused fire. As soon as the field ceased, crews were able to reassert control over their capital ships, as well as take over the defenders.
In the 115 years since the Homeworld War the Wastelands was claimed by the newly formed Hiigarian Empire which built several key facilities including Tanis Station in an ancient derelict, used as construction site for the new Mothership. However the Vaygr became aware of this secret outpost and launched a devastating attack against the facilities where the Pride of Hiigara was stationed. While the Mothership managed to escape, everything else was destroyed.