I am playing a dummy game solo to get a feel for the rules before my siblings and I play tomorrow after Thanksgiving dinner (Canadian).
When playing a card from your hand, be it Character, Maneuver, or Setup, you never have to pay the XP cost, correct?
A quick rundown of my first turn...
Draw 5 cards from my deck. Perform 1 Starbase Search. Play Tricorder and perform another Starbase Search (Does Tricorder stay in my bridge at this time, or hit my discard pile?). Play Ensign. Play Starfleet Academy on Ensign, upgrade to Lieutenant (Does Starfleet Academy stay in my bridge at this time, or hit my discard pile?). Lieutenant hits the bridge, Ensign hits the discard pile.
So far all this was done without spending any XP, correct? And currently I have 2XP, enough to purchase another ensign for my discard pile from the Starbase.
The game looks very very good so far, but I'm a bit cloudy on some of the rules. Perhaps you could make a Youtube video of three people playing, going over their first few turns? I generally find the best way to learn a new game is by observation.