With their unparalleled strength, agility and weapons, the Yautja have become one of the most feared hunters in the universe. But what happens when a large scale conflict breaks out and it becomes more than just a hunt involving a few Yautja from one clan? The Yautja do have a military and their various weapons, tactics and technology can differ from those used on regular hunts. In the various Yautja wars, a series of inter-species conflicts and civil wars, the military of the Predator species faced off against some of the toughest opponents in the galaxy.
Rebellion Against Amengi: War Of Independence
In the expanded Predator lore, the origins of the Yautja race is tied with a rebellion against an insectoid race called the Amengi. The Predators (called Hish at the time) were not technologically advanced and the Amengis used them as slaves and prize fighters. An albino Predator (later called the Alpha) led a revolt against their masters and a war erupted which ended up turning the tables on the two races. The Amengis were either killed or became slaves themselves, while the Predators took the technology and adapted it to their needs. This was the first war that the Yautja were involved with, and it ended with their full independence.
Yautja Invasion of New York City
Although an all-out war between humans and Predators has never broken out, it came close to happening at the end of the first Predator comic series. A fleet of Predator ships (at least 12 of them) appeared over New York City with an over-ambition plan of invasion. Although they were cloaked at first, they soon started bombing runs over the city, while several were shot down in retaliation by squads of humans (both cops and criminals) assembled by John Schaefer, the brother of Dutch Schaefer. The battle escalated with the ships unloading Yautja to fight on the streets and Apache copters arriving from a US army base. In the end, the cold weather and the increasing resistance from the humans motivated the Predators to leave.
Civil War I: Jungle Hunters vs. Killer Predators
In addition to battling other species, the hot-headed Yautja have fought in at least three civil wars amongst themselves. The first known Yautja civil war occurred between the classic Jungle Hunter clan and a group of Predators known as the Killers. The Killers were Bad Blood Yautja who strayed away from the regular hunting codes of Yautja Prime and just enjoyed killing for the fun of it. This civil war spilled over to Earth, where a conflict in East Africa attracted both sides of the feud. The Hunters and Killers employed weaponry and tactics not seen before in Yautja lore, using rifles (called burners), fighting in large numbers, wearing battle armor, and employing commanders to instruct other Yautja. Although the Killers lost, they were not fully defeated and would show up more than a century during the Three World War.
Civil War II: Super Predators vs. Jungle Hunters
The second Civil War involved the Jungle Hunter clan again, but this time they fought the Super Predators, who seemed to be the aggressors. Although the reason for their feud is not known, the Super Predators were another subspecies of Yautja which might explain their differences, both physical and ideological. The conflict might have been over disputed territory (the game preserve planet) or hunting methods (kidnapping prey and transporting them far away). Although both sides lost in the third Predator movie, the Super Predators showed up hundreds of years later on LV-412, in the AvP: Evolution game.
Civil War III: Upgrade Predators vs. Fugitive Predators
The third Civil War erupted on Yautja Prime between the heavily hybridized Upgrade Predators (also known as Assassins) and the clan to which the Fugitive Predators belong to. Although fighting over the fact of allowing DNA hybridization seems kind of sensical, the Fugitive Predator was a hybrid with human DNA itself, so this does not check out. The Upgrade Predators planned another Earth invasion because global warming had made the climate more hospitable for them. For some reason, the Fugitives did not like this and wanted to help the humans battle the bigger Predators. The Fugitive succeeded in delivering humanity the Predator Killer suit, but killed many humans in the process, making the whole storyline nonsensical.
Three World War
The Civil War between the Jungle Hunters and Killer Predators continued in a new conflict named the Three World War. In the comic with the same name, the Killer Predators were causing chaos by using captured Xenomorphs as weapons of war, putting both the Colonial Marines and regular Predators in danger. Machiko Noguchi played a key role in facilitating an alliance, bringing together the two sides in a mission to capture a Xenomorph Queen and use her against the Killer Predators. The two forces then converged on Ryushi before hitting a beachhead on Caparis VII with a massive fleet of Predator ships and Conestoga class cruisers, where they used the captured Queen to gain control over the Xenomorphs. In the end, the Predator Killers were defeated for good, never to be seen again.
The Hive Wars was a mysterious conflict that brewed on the Aliens Hive Planet (probably not Xenomorph Prime) and involved the Yautja, cyborg Colonial Marines, and a new breed of Xenomorphs, born from Xenopods. Introduced in the second line of action Alien and Predator action figures by Kenner, the war pitted the mightiest warriors from each species against each other. Although the line was left unfinished, it would have included several military-caste Predator figures, including the Heavy Infantry Predator and the R-Zor Space Marine Predator. The Hive Wars Predator later showed up fighting Colonial Marines in the Dark Horse Life and Death comic series, tying the continuity together.
Many of the Alien vs. Predator games introduced a conflict between the three races, usually taking place on a planet and involving one Yautja clan with a few ships. The biggest of these is most likely the war on LV-742 from the Alien vs. Predator: Extinction RTS game where the Council of Elders from Yautja Prime had to send a bigger group of their military-caste warriors. The elders were angered at the experiments of Dr. Kadinsky, a Weyland-Yutani scientist who created a Predalien Queen. The Yautja warriors successfully defeated both the Colonial Marines and the special breed of Xenomorphs protecting the "contaminated" Queen. The most unique military-type Predators in the game were the Hydra and Blazer Predators, both heavily armored and sporting weapons aimed at large groups.
The most significant conflict involving the Yautja species is widely considered to be the Rage War of the 27th century, as depicted in the trilogy of novels published by Titan Books. In this conflict, hundreds of Predator ships, representing numerous clans and Yautja military factions, joined forces with the Colonial Marines and Weyland-Yutani to wage a war against the elusive Rage. The partnership was brokered by Kalakta, a legendary Predator King and leader of the entire species, who was thousands of years old. The Rage was a faction of humans who had left human colonies centuries prior and returned with advanced ships and tamed Xenomorphs to invade the Solar System. Despite initial difficulties, the alliance between the two species proved successful in defeating the Rage, ending the biggest war the galaxy had seen at that point.
In conclusion, the military of the Yautja is a formidable force to be reckoned with, and they are not just regular hunters. With their advanced technology, weapons, tactics, and ships, they have proven to be a match for some of the toughest opponents in the galaxy. The various Yautja wars were a testament to their strength and determination, as they fought against multiple species in order to maintain their honor and protect their territory, sometimes even fighting amongst themselves. Although the final outcome of some of these wars remains unknown, it is clear that the military of the Predator species is a significant player in the inter-species conflicts of the galaxy.