In Redshirts – which is based on a television franchise never to be named for legal reasons – players take on the role of Starship Captains, with a random assortment of Redshirts, which are junior level crewmen. The goal of the game is to be the first player to eliminate all of his own Redshirts.
Each player has a hand of cards that allows him to assign missions, issue equipment, travel to exotic locations, or use temporary abilities. Players frequently wind up with more cards than they can hold, which forces them to make strategic decisions about how to proceed.
Each Redshirt has its own combination of abilities and powers, and the players must find a way to match their crew up against missions where they cannot succeed. Other players "help" by offering the doomed Redshirt additional aid in an attempt to keep it alive.