Vaygr and the Crusades
In the beginning, Vaygr was a name for the tribes traveling throughout the Vaygr Reaches of the Galaxy, conquering worlds that they encountered. Traveling only on sublight drives in fleets called Crusades, they managed to conquer and enslave many worlds, eventually becoming a notable force within the Galaxy.
Makaan and the Vaygr War
Throughout the history of the Vaygr many warlords found various Progenitor relics, commonly proclaiming themselves Sajuuk-Khar, however only one of them, named Makaan, succeeded in finding one of most important - the Third Hyperspace Core in the Hethlim Ice Fields. Since Makaan found the Third Core many other warlords joined forces with him, and the Vaygr begun to create overwhelming fleets, and began to move towards the Inner Rim worlds. Makaan also managed to convince Taiidan Imperialists to join forces with him, as they still had a strong desire to retake Hiigara. This way the Vaygr started a Holy Crusade, conquering many worlds in a path stretching from the Vaygr Reaches, through the Eastern Fringes, and up to the Inner Rim worlds. Each planet the Vaygr conquered was stripped of all available resources that could be used to feed the Crusade then left barren.
The combined strength of the Vaygr crusades is difficult to estimate. The Homeworld 2 manual describes the forces assembled by Makaan as 'a fleet larger than any since the time of exile'. Presumably this means the Vaygr have even greater forces available to them than the Taiidan Empire at its height. In game, the Mothership fleet fights its way through upwards of two thousand fighters, six hundred corvettes, three hundred frigates, about sixty destroyers, twenty-seven carriers, thirty cruisers and eleven shipyards, plus Makaan's flagship, two 'Vaygr Outposts' and a great number of support vessels (note that in Homeworld levels are more difficult if the player's fleet is closer to full strength, as was the case for the most part when collating these figures). Given the scale of the Vaygr War it seems this total is but a few percent of the entire Vaygr armada, which would have fought for a number of years across many thousands of light years of space conquering hundreds of worlds.
- "Children of Hiigara... you are beaten." — Makaan
After a few years the whole of the Inner Rim was at war with the Makaan led Vaygr (fans usually call these 'Makaan Elite Guard'), and soon after they managed to reach Hiigara. The Vaygr forces managed to lay siege to Hiigara soon after destroying Tanis Station, however there was still one primary target that wasn't in their hands - the Second Core, which was onboard the Pride of Hiigara, the Hiigaran mothership under the command of Karan S'jet, also known as Fleet Command. The Vaygr Fleets chased the Pride while simultaneously conquering worlds and searching relics. Throughout this chase, the Pride's fleet encountered many Progenitor sites and relics, most horrifying were the Keepers. In the middle, both the Pride and the Vaygr managed to salvage a Progenitor Dreadnaught ship, with the Vaygr presenting it to Makaan. It turns out that these Dreadnaughts are the keys to Balcora (connected with the gate outside), where the great Sajuuk lies. Turns out that Sajuuk is neither god or a supernatural being, it was a ship. Makaan and the Hiigarans struggled for control over the titanic ship. In the battle, Makaan was destroyed, and the Hiigarans united the Three Hyperspace Cores inside Sajuuk in exchange of the Pride. The Hiigarans' fleet returned to Hiigara.
At some point, a Vaygr Crusade under the command of Makaan's son, Jochik Kaan arrived in the Nimbus Galaxy. This was known at the time by at least the Tanoch.
General Ship Tech Principles
Unlike Hiigaran ships, Vaygr ship designs are extremely focused. They are each, for the most part, designed to counter one single ship class or type. Against that target ship type they usually do better than the Hiigaran counterpart intended for the same role, but they do quite badly against pretty much anything else they aren't intended to fight. With Strike Craft they also tend to go for larger numbers of individually weaker ships for a squadron. This is also apparent in their Carrier design, with each being able to build only one ship type so multiple Carriers are needed for a broad range of construction options.
In terms of weaponry, the Vaygr heavily prefer missiles over virtually anything else. They do have projectile and energy/beam weaponry, but it comes in far more limited use.
List of Vaygr ships
- While in the finished game Makaan appears to be human-like, concept art of Homeworld 2 released later hint at another appearance of the race during earlier stages of production. The Vaygr depicted therein are thin-limbed, four-fingered toad-like humanoids shown in skintight black suits and face/breathing masks. It is possible that Makaan is actually from a different race while the Vaygr he commanded are the real Vaygr.