That answer is correct, let me add… If it does not say "ACTION:" (which means you have to have/use an action to do it, on your turn, when executive ordered, using Apollos "Alert" ability), it will say when you can use it.
For example, "Play before a skill check…" This does NOT require an ACTION or that it be your turn, you can just play it if you meet the conditions. These cards let players draw card, let certain colors count, etc.
And of course, the cards are used by color/type and point value in a skill check.
If you can't get someone to "teach" you the game (someone local, a convention, store, etc), then you can dive head long into and just go step by step, using the book as a guide. Get a couple people to play a sample game and just get through 2 set of player turns and quit - not to win or lose, just to see the mechanics. Then maybe play a real game with NO CYLONS, you may even lose like that! By then, you will have a good idea.
Searching this forum is great for questions, read the FAQ on this Fantasy Flight webbpage, also use:
it is great for those odd questions that come up, and if you read it you will "learn" how to answer others.