Excellent. Thanks for the reply. I did pre-order a second starter, so I think this will solve the problem.
Actually it says in the rules that if you're just using the core set, the imperial player chooses upgrades first in a 31 point game.
I'm looking through the rules, but I don't see that anywhere. What page should I be looking at?
Page 18 "initiative whilst squad building" seems to imply what Beldar says…
No, no, no, no, no. That's poorly worded. They don't mean "initiative when in the middle of squad building" what they mean is "initiative when using squad building rules." That statement is meant to clarify that in a match where squad building rules are used, the Imperial player does not automatically get initiative, but the player with the lowest squad points. It makes no sense to me to tally up your fleet points to see who gets which upgrade. I'm sure that the issue the OP has is not one FFG considered because, as was mentioned previously, each player is expected to bring their own ships, cards, and accessories.
Now, I agree you could create a squad-building-initiative system. It could work like how you interpreted the sentence from the rules. First, everyone chooses ships. Then, the player with the lowest total chooses an upgrade. Now you compare squad totals again. The lowest point player chooses another upgrade. Alternatively, you just take turns after the first player chooses an upgrade. But I repeat: I do not think this is what the designer had in mind.