Future Wars

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.

Future Wars
Product information
Type Magazine
Development Herb Barents
Primary writing Herb Barents, Philip J. Deluca, Jon Pehrson, J. Donald Lail and others.
Pages 48 to 56 pages in later issues.
Interior artwork Steve Barnett and others
Illustrations Steve Barnett and others
Publication information
Publisher Herb Barents
First published
This article is a stub (i.e., in need of additional material). You can help us by expanding it

Future Wars was a fan-made, unofficial BattleTech publication that ran for 41 issues and a "best of" issue. With very limited advertising, original artwork was published in each issue.

The first 18 issues are known to have a very low distribution, no more than 600 issues. Earlier issues may be considered a regional, self-published fanzine and later issues a more widely distributed specialty magazine with more professional printing. All known regular issues lacked color printing, but the covers after wider distribution were of heavier color paper stock. Issues from 23 onward were saddle stitched and thought to be more widely distributed… peaking at 50 or more North American hobby stores in the early 1990's, almost exclusively in the US.

This publication is considered apocryphal for the assumption that the publisher held a license from FASA to publish BattleTech content; otherwise, it would be outright non-canon.

Known content:

Mech War Times (Issue 1)[edit]

This issue was not entitled Future Wars. Like many 'zines, the original issues were produced on a typewriter and duplicated with a copier.

Issue 2[edit]

This is the first issue that was entitled Future Wars. FASA had asked Herb to change the name from Mech War Times.

Issue 14[edit]

"Light 'Mechs, 'Mech Variants, Figures in Review, Date Line: The Front, Star Base Detroit, Rules Variants"

Cover: B&W Illustration of an Unseen Wasp running at the reader brandishing a medium laser. Issue price of $2.00.

Issue 15[edit]

"LAMs, Tactics, Q&A, Optional Rules, An Official FASA Optional Rule"

Cover: B&W Illustration of an Unseen Wasp, a LAM, and 4 distant LAMs in fighter mode. Issue price of $2.00.

Issue 16[edit]

"Planetary Assaults, Reviews, New Fighter, The Pipeline"

Cover: B&W Illustration of an Aerospace battle. Issue price of $2.00.

Issue 17[edit]

"Infantry Issue, Fiction, New Mechs"

Cover: B&W Illustration of a female combatant perched atop machinery holding a large, smoking gun. Issue price of $2.00.

Issue 18[edit]

"Medium 'Mechs, Michael Stackpole Interview, Excerpt from Blood Legacy pt. 2"

Cover: B&W Illustration of a number of 'Mechs firing jump jets. A Griffin is the most prominent. Issue price of $2.50.

Issue 19[edit]

Cover: B&W Illustration of an apparent command or support group of vehicles and personnel with a Cyclops 'Mech. Issue price of $2.50.

Issue 21[edit]


Cover: B&W Illustration of a seated Katrina Steiner reading the BattleTech 20 Year Update. Issue price of $2.50.

Issue 22[edit]

"Vehicles, Katachen Variants, New 'Mechs" (44 pages)

Cover: B&W Illustration of a Swift Wind scout car with a female combatant onlooking with one leg perched on a rock. Issue price of $2.50.

NOTES: Unlike many later issues, this issue is not stapled in the spine from folded 11" by 17" print stock, but rather appears to be printed on 8 ½" by 11" paper common in consumer printers and stapled from the face. (This is the last issue face stapled.)

Issue 23[edit]

"Heavy 'Mechs" 1989

Cover: B&W Illustration of 5 'Mech walking through a valley with buttes. An Unseen Warhammer in the foreground. Issue price of $3.50. It appears to be stapled through the spine (saddle stitched) from the poor images available of this issue.

Issue 24[edit]

"Star League Tech, Heavy 'Mech Design" (44 pages)

Price of issue $3.50

Cover: B&W Illustration of 3 'Mech in the midst of urban combat. Perhaps an Archer, Crusader and Thunderbolt.

ARTICLES: Conquerer 'Mech (50 ton Introductory); Firestorm FF1 (60 ton Introductory)

Issue 25[edit]

"Dropship Construction, The Lotus Eaters" (48 pages)

Cover: B&W Illustration of an unknown 'Mech or Power Armor and tagline "The Dawn of a New Age With… The Kin!"

ARTICLES: DropShip Construction; Regimental Types and Quality; Portable Battle Bar (RoboTech Anecdote); The Pipeline; The Black Dragons; The Lotus Eaters; The Kin; more

Issue 26[edit]

"This Issue: Scenarios" 1991

Cover: B&W Illustration of 8 futuristic officers and MechWarriors simulating a wargame.

ARTICLES: A Matter of Balance; Critical Slots; Real 'Mechs; Shorts; Heavy 'Mech Modifiers; BattleTech Playing Strategies; Point-Blank Enterprises; Chimera (55 tons); Kali KL-8; Conquistador CNQ-4R; Operation Deep Scout; Hot Head 'Mech, Hellfire 1A and 1B, Morning Star MRN-1.

Issue 27[edit]

"Assault 'Mechs, Fiction, Reviews" 1992

Cover: B&W Illustration of an Atlas advancing on wreckage of Warhammer (?); Issue price of $3.50

Tagline: "Heavy Metal"

ARTICLES: [Illegible] Rhonda's Irregulars, Burying the Hatchet, Old Dinosaurs, The House Rules, Review: Jade Phoenix Trilogy Vol. 1 & 2, Solaris VII, Aslt. 'Mech Specifics, 'Mechs [illegible] 100 Tons, Building the Aslt. 'Mech, Real 'Mechs, Aslt. 'Mech Modifications, New Aslt. BattleMechs; OstLord OSL-9R

Issue 28[edit]

"Let's Get Personal, Infantry, Role Playing, New 'Mechs" (48 pages) 1992

Cover: B&W Illustration of a futuristic solider in reflective sunglasses.

Issue 29[edit]

Future Wars Issue 29 Cover

"Solaris VII Issue" (48 pages) 1992

Cover: B&W Illustration of a Hatamoto-Chi with right arm weapon directed at the reader.

ARTICLES: Trends and Directions; Butterfly 30 ton 'Mech; Role-Playing Opportunities in Battletech; A Tale of the Black Panther Legionnaires (fiction); Armor Allocation According to Hit Probabilities; Solaris VII In Depth (2 Articles); Tactics in the Arenas; Berserker BZK-3R; Review: Mecha!; ToastMaster BLR-1F; Birdman BCA-1A; Ogre OGR-3E; Ice Man III ICMN-3; Grand Reaver GND-1R

Best of Future Wars, Volume 1[edit]

Cover: Color Illustration of a female Mechwarrior with red hair and Wolf's Dragoons patch standing before an Unseen Warhammer. This cover was unique as it was printed in color. Issue price of $7.50

Published: 1992 (64 pages) It is believed that this compilation was published at approximately the same time as issue #30, but the exact order remains unknown.

"Over the years I have had requests for back issues of the 'zine…. Best of Future Wars #1 covers the articles that appeared in this 'zine from #1 to #18, three years worth of things. It covers only the article as other Best of Future Wars will contain Mechs and vehicles, real 'Mechs, and tactics." --Herb Barents, Editor of the original issues from which this work is compiled.

Steve Burnett and Paul Pelfrey complied this work… including new artwork… beginning in July 1991 from materials provided by Herb Barents. Planned further "Best of Future Wars" were never published.

ARTICLES: Drop Ship construction, Point Defense, The VHE (High Explosive Autocannon) Shell, Weapon Analysis, Power Armor, Opportunity Fire, Strategic Movement, The Penitrator [sic] Missile Weapon, Optional Sabot shells, Morale Rules, New Wpns: Gatling Laser, Swing Fire Missile System, Rapid-fire Autocannon, Long Ranged Flamer, Power Booster, Weapon Malfunctions, 3-D play Advice, Economics for your campaign, Alternate 'Mech Construction Rules, 8 pages of dedicated line art including all the Light 'Mechs from the original TRO3025, Review: Battletroops & BT Nova Game Books, Planetary assault rules, A Look at the Goliath, Long Range Weapon Analysis, Mech Warrior additions, City Raid Scenario and a fictional page of "classified ads."

Issue 30[edit]

Future Wars Issue 30 Cover

"BattleForce! New Scenarios, New Units, 3 New Mechs" (48 pages) 1992

Cover: B&W Illustration of a stylized anime Mecha with left hand outstretched toward the reader and what appears to be a hatchet in the right hand. The head slightly resembles a Hatchetman or Axman.

ARTICLES: Reviews (Medium OmniMech's from TRO3050, Death Star Technical Companion, Jade Falcon Sourcebook); The Art of Being Four-Footed (1 pg.); Level 2 Options for TRO 3026 Vehicles (1 pg.); Various Battleforce Articles including a Clan conversion (9 pgs.); Combined Arms Tactics (2 pgs.); Burn's Bandits Merc. Regiment Profile (5 pgs.); Meeting Engagement Scenario (3 pgs, 3026); Beer & Pretzel BattleTech (2 page alternative to BattleForce); "Worthless Money, Worthless Honor" (4 pgs. fan fiction); Real 'Mechs (quirks) 3050 Centurion, 3050 Grasshopper, 3055 Galahad, 3050 Phantom; 3 New 'Mechs (Brick T-BR1K, Firecracker FCR-500, Strider STd5R)

Issue 31[edit]

"Aerospace Issue, New Fighters, Silent Death, Star Warriors"

Cover: B&W Illustration of an Aerospace fighter… probably a Chippewa.


  • Shadow Stalker SHD-SR (55 tons)
  • Sphinx SPN-9X (55 tons)
  • Blood Tiger (75 tons)
  • Blood Tiger A (75 tons)
  • Cavalier CAV-5L (75 tons)
  • Monsoon MS-ON (75 tons)

Issue 32[edit]

"New Mechs, New Technology"

Cover: B&W Illustration of what appears a Mech Tech in a Mech Bay.


  • Equalizer EQR-3Z (30 tons)
  • Fire Ant FRNT-1A (30 tons)
  • Fire Ant FRNT-1B (30 tons)
  • Patrolman PTR-135 (35 tons)
  • Swashbuckler SWB-1B (45 tons)
  • Claymore CLM-5R (60 tons)
  • Commander CMD-70 (70 tons)
  • Blade BL-9E (75 tons)
  • Pulsar (75  tons) No connection to the Challenge Magazine Mech of this name.
  • Charger CGR-1H (80 tons)
  • Garrison GRY-220GC (95 tons)
  • Rifleman II RFL-2B (100 tons)
  • Bushmaster STING-A1 (100 tons)

Issue 33[edit]

Future Wars Issue 33 Cover

"The Clans, New Tech, ClanTech on Solaris" 1993

Cover: B&W Illustration of what appears a MechWarrior with a laser pistol within a cockpit protecting himself from an attacking clan elemental.


  • Shrew SRH-3W (20 tons)
  • Spider SDR-IIC (30 tons)
  • Yellowjacket YLJ-01C (40 tons) No connection to other similarly named Mechs.
  • Trebuchet TBT-IIC (50 tons)
  • Waster-Prime WST-3R (50 tons)
  • Jagermech JM6-IIC (65 tons)
  • Thing THN-1G (85 tons)
  • Shinobi SHI-1A (90 tons)
  • Poseidon PSD-9A (100 tons)

Issue 34[edit]

Future Wars Issue 34 Cover

"Lance-Based Tactics, Kin Smashing, The 113th American Division" 1993

Cover: B&W Illustration of urban combat featuring a Mech that may be an Ostroc or Ostol.


  • Needler NDR-3C (20 tons)
  • Needler NDR-3E (20 tons)
  • Needler NDR-3L (20 tons)
  • Aggressor AGS-1L (40 tons)
  • Pugilist PGS-1TKO (45 tons)
  • Ripper RPR-1A (65 tons)
  • SkullHunter SKH-3S (70 tons)
  • Rifleman II RFL-2B (100 tons)
  • Bushmaster STING-A1 (100 tons)

Issue 35[edit]

Future Wars Issue 35 Cover

"Allah's Hammer, Mech Shields, The Free Worlds Alliance"

Cover: B&W Illustration of defiant unknown Mech with a prominent gun held high in the right hand.

ARTICLES: Mekton Review (8 pages), Allah's Hammer (fiction and scenario), Review: Mekton RAFM mecha figures (3 pages), BattleTech to Palladium Robotech Conversions, 3050 Liao Civil War (2 pages), The Real Mechs (Quirks of the Blackjack, Hatchetman and Clint, 1 page), Mech Shields (3 pages), Stupid Weapon Tricks (2 page weapon analysis), Black Gorilla 75 ton 'Mech, Gremlin GMN-1 15 ton 'Mech, Hellraiser HLRZ-3, IT 65 ton mech (The name is literally "IT"), The Gauss Platform (slow 100 ton vehicle), Labyrinth LBY-4D 60 ton mech, Viper VPR-IIx 30 ton mech, further 3 pages of Mekton advertisement and a record sheet.

Issue 36[edit]

Future Wars Issue 36 Cover

"Campaign Rules, Dropship Construction, 9 New Mechs, 3 New Dropships, 7 Reviews" (56 pages) 1994

Cover: B&W Illustration of a standing mech similar to a Locust.

ARTICLES: BattleTech Campaign (6 pages); 10 pages of various dropship articles; Review: Metal Magic's Former Imperial Robot Legions (suitable proxy mechs); Reviews and Articles: BattleSpace, BattleForce, Tactical Handbook, Succession Wars board game; Princess Ryan's Space Marines miniatures game; Blazer BLZ-R1; First Born 60 ton mech; Brimstone FRE-ND; Marauder III MAD-6A (XL engine ERPPC, AC/20); Ottawa 70 ton clan mech; Punisher clan Assault Carrier; Stormbringer STB-3R; Thunder TDR-3R; Tornado TOR-1D

Issue 37[edit]

Future Wars Issue 37 Cover

"Clan Mechs, Anti-Clan Mechs, New Weapons, 12 New Mechs, Star League Naval Base" (56 pages)

Cover: B&W Illustration of a very simple unknown mech with a rounded shape.

ARTICLES: Review: SimTac terrain & Vac-U-Cast, The Clan Way (3 pages on how to simulate clan fighting style), Decimator DCMR-2, Catapult II CAT-3, Awesome III AWS-10A, Devestator [sic] III DVTR-3, Clan Wolverine, Clan Garrison Mechs: Rifleman(c), Thunderbolt(c), Catapult(c), Archer(c), Warhammer(c), Marauder(c), Atlas(c), Sensors (5 pages of advanced rules), Variable Rated Energy Cannon (1 page weapon), Turning Up the Heat (3 pages), Variant Armor Rules (2 pages, 2 articles), EM Missile (1 page), Revised Repair Time (1 page), Mace Weapon (1 page), Homemade BattleMechs (1 page), LRM 5 Weapon Analysis (1 page), Star League Naval Bases (7 pages), Review: MechWarrior 2nd. Ed. (1 page), Gaming in 3D advice (2 pages, 2 articles), Kindig 40 ton omnimech

Issue 38[edit]

Future Wars Issue 38 Cover

"28 'Mech Designs" (56 pages)

Cover: B&W Illustration of a War Dog BattleMech with Officer Speight and support staff onlooking.

BATTLEMECHS: Backstabber, Bahamut, Beli, Cannonball, Pinball, Typhoon, Eradicator II, Balrog, Pinball (3050), Devastator, Dark Phoenix, FLY-By Night, Rifleman II, Hellraiser Mk 2 and Mk 3, Venom ICE Mech, Athena ICE Mech, Battlemaster ICE Mech, Monkey ICE Mech, Kommodo ICE Mech, Kong, Spitting Cobra, Slam Cat (Omni), Sapper, Saber

NOTES: The ICE 'Mechs are TSM-focused designs rather than using an internal combustion engine. Devastator looks like an independent 2nd Line clan design. The fluff for the Rifleman II claims it is a heavier 80 ton mech built in 3053. The BattleMaster ICE uses an XL engine and TSM with jump jets. ARTICLES: Other than letters to the editor and an article "By the Number" (3 pages design analysis), this issue is almost entirely heavily optimized 'Mech designs and record sheets.

Issue 39[edit]

Future Wars Issue 39 Cover

"Fiction, 12+ Reader 'Mech Designs, New Magazine Design"

Cover: B&W Illustration of a Behemoth (similar to the art on the cover of TRO3055)

Issue 40[edit]

"Con Run! Review: Full Thrust, Art, Fiction, 'Mech Designs"

Cover: B&W Illustration of an Unseen Warhammer beside a building. Issue price of $5.00.

Issue 41[edit]

Issue price of $5.00

Cover: B&W Illustration printed on green paper stock. Two trees in background with a battle-damaged Unseen Marauder walking through brushfire to the right.

ARTICLES: Reviews: Dirtside II, Heavy Gear, Battleforce II, Planetstorm; Fiction; Scenarios; Designs; and much more!

NOTES: Believed to be the last regular issue of this publication.