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Emblem-important.svg Apocryphal Product
Although it is an official BattleTech product, the subject of this article does not meet the current criteria for Canon for the BattleTech universe.
See the article's section on Canonicity for details.

Product information
Type Magazine
Primary writing John A. Thiesen, Blaine Pardoe, Jordan Weisman, Robert Gray, Jack Freeman, Richard Tucholka, and others.
Pages varies
Cover artwork Various artists
Interior artwork Various artists
Illustrations Various artists
Publication information
Publisher Various (see article):
First published 1984-1987;
1988 (StarDrive)
MSRP US$ 4.00
US$ 3.50 (Vol. 3, StarDrive)
Era Succession Wars era

The STARDATE magazine (always spelled in capital letters within the magazine, and named StarDrive for its final issue) was a magazine initially published by FASA as a house magazine to support their Star Trek line of games. It later expanded its scope to cover other games as well, notably BattleTech.

The first issue was published for November 1984. FASA published altogether five volumes of the magazine, two of them numbered as double issues (3/4 in February 1985 and 5/6 in April 1985) for a total numbering of 7 "issues".

Beginning with issue #8 (October 1985), Associates International took over as a publisher and although the issue numbering continued, issues 9-11 are listed as "Volume 2".
Ten months after issue #11 had been published in April 1986, the magazine resurfaced for a "Volume 3" run with new numbering, now published by Reluctant Publishing Ltd., in February 1987, billing itself as "The Science Fiction Gaming Resource".
For its last issue (February 1988) the magazine was renamed "StarDrive", explicitly described as "Formerly STARDATE magazine" on the cover. Despite featuring content heavily geared towards FASA products (namely Star Trek and BattleTech), the editorial writing in StarDrive was notably critical of FASA. Reluctant Publishing Ltd. went out of business after this issue. (FASA had been publishing their own official BattleTech magazine, BattleTechnology, through Pacific Rim Publishing since 1987.)[1]

This article is focused on the magazine's BattleTech-related content. Issues not featuring BattleTech at all are not covered here, and content relating to other game systems is omitted.


STARDATE / StarDrive is not counted among the sources contributing canon to the BattleTech universe at this time.

Even during its time as a FASA house magazine, the imprint contained a disclaimer stating that the magazine's content was the author's opinion and no official rulings by FASA for their games, unless otherwise noted. Later issues were not official FASA publications anymore, but licensed third-party content (even though Vol. 3 Number 2 is announced as an "official BattleTech issue" on the cover).

As an official publication with a valid license at the time, its content can be regarded as apocryphal.

Volume 1, Issue 5/6 (March 1985)Edit

Featuring: BattleDroids History

Article: "Before the Succession Wars", a BattleTech article by Patrick Larkin and Jordan Weisman concerning the early (in-universe) history of the BattleTech universe. It was reprinted in MechWarrior: The BattleTech Role Playing Game on pp. 3-8 under the header "A History of Human Space, 2001-3025".[2]

Volume 3 Number 1 (February 1987)Edit

52 Pages.

Volume 3 Number 2 (March 1987)Edit

68 pages numbered 54 through 119 (plus advertisement pages without page number), continuing the page numbering from Vol. 3 Number 1.

Volume 3 Number 3 (May 1987)Edit

Volume 3 Number 4 (Summer 1987)Edit

  • BattleMech Tech: Gremlin armored car and Quicksilver hover scout for BattleTech (by Jack Freeman)
  • BattleTech Variant Salvage Rules by Richard Tucholka
  • Body Armor Optional Rules for MechWarrior.
  • Closing the Gap: Q&A by Robert Gray.
  • Infantry Against BattleMechs by Blaine Pardoe.

Volume 3 Number 5 (October 1987)Edit

  • Three-Legged Mechs
  • Hedgehog HdG-2B BattleMech by Jack Freeman, a tripodal (three-legged) 'Mech.
  • A BattleMech named the Pillager used as the basis for the canon Pillager PLG-1N.[3] Designed by Jack Freeman, this was the first BattleMech with dual AC/20's, the Pillager PLG-1N. The profile differs slightly from the canon version but has identical movement, jump jet capability, heat dissipation and nearly identical weaponry. A variant called the Matchmaker MTM-4B featuring Flamers is also presented.[4][5]
  • Terminus - Battletech Fiction, Scenario and Character Stats by John A. Thiesen
  • Galt's Grenadiers Go Shopping: Scenario by John A. Thiesen
  • Basic Training - MechWarrior character generation program for Basic-80, Rev 5.21 [CP/M version]

Volume 3 Number 6 (Winter 1987)Edit

Cover: This issue had unusually strong and atypical cover artwork Death Dealer from Frank Frazetta, the same artwork popularized on the Molly Hatchet self-titled album. This was uncharacteristic of this magazine which typically featured science-fiction artwork on the cover.

StarDrive (February 1988)Edit

52 pages.


  • Since 1997, a nonfictional astronomical magazine is published under the title "StarDate" that has no connections with FASA, BattleTech, or gaming.