I'm looking at starting playing Three Houses for the first time and given the new story DLC just released I'm curious if people would recommend playing Cindered Shadows first to unlock those characters for my main routes playthroughs or begin with the original campaign?
Part of me wants to have everything available from the get go when I do the main routes and have access to all the possible characters and other gameplay features. The other part of me worries the DLC story might spoil or "ruin" a main campaign playthrough with some of the salient plot points presented as something the players would already know as potentially the DLC would expect you to have already beaten some or all of the routes? Or maybe it presents a truncated version of the original game's introduction into the story assuming that you've probably already played it?
The other thing is this would be my first mainline Fire Emblem game and I'm curious if the DLC gives you the same introduction to the game's mechanics as the original campaign does? I've heard the DLC is harder than the main campaign. I'm an experienced gamer and I'm fine with a challenge, but I'm more concerned about being dropped into the deep end without a proper explanation of the game's mechanics as again potentially the DLC already expects you know those things?
Regardless of whether I start with the DLC or main campaign, would people recommend I read up on the game's systems and mechanics before I begin playing so I don't botch things up too much or just go in blind and let the game teach me?