The Babylon 5 Component Game System (CGS) is a discontinued, licensed board game. The component nature of the game used custom playing cards, assembled map hexes to make a different playing board each game, cardboard ship tokens, and currency chits for scorekeeping. The component nature also allowed different players to merge their individual sets to make a single game and could accommodate multiple players. While the official rules allow for 4 players CGS created tournaments allowed for some game variations that allowed for larger playing fields and more players in an individual game.
Component Game System, the company that made the game and its concept, made similar games for many TV shows but the B5 series was the most developed, having more sets available for expansion and play. They released game sets in 1998, created tournaments, and went out of business shortly after.
CGS released 4 Core Sets, which included a 4 player setup; two versions were larger boxes and the other two were the same game in smaller boxes. The larger box was handy for merging expansion sets while the other were the same size box as the individual sets. The four Empires included in each of these sets were the traditional four races from the series, Earth Alliance, Minbari Federation, Centauri Republic, and the Narn Regime. One each (small and large set) were made for each year version of the game, 2258 and 2259. Future sets were not made.
The smaller boxes contained an individual Empire set suitable for one player each, and could be merged with other player sets for game play. Sets included:
- 2258 Earth Alliance
- 2258 Minbari Federation
- 2258 Centauri Republic
- 2258 Narn Regime
- 2258 League of Non-Aligned Worlds
- 2258 Vorlon Empire
- 2259 Earth Alliance
- 2259 Minbari Federation
- 2259 Centauri Republic
- 2259 Narn Regime
- 2259 Psi Corps
- 2259 Shadow
- 2258 Reinforcements
The custom cards and the game's Vote phase allowed many aspects of the game to be subjected to a vote of the players that acted as the Babylon 5 Advisory Council in the TV show. Some cards granted the ability to change another player's mind/ vote, to do a mind scan/ peek at their cards, contest an action, impose a blockade, and other actions that added a twist to the game trying to simulate the political intrigue of the show.
Since the game has not had any updates since the first year (both 'years' of game sets were released at different times in the same year) some fan groups have developed seeking to make their own expansion sets. One such group on Facebook seeks to make and share the work so that each player can produce their own expansions, and thus attempt to bypass licensing issues.