W: Empire Advice

I’ve got the percolation of an idea for a new army, directly inspired by this guy:

I painted him up a couple of years ago because 1) that’s one badass model and 2) I was working through how to achieve the bloodless skin tone I use on my Daemons.

I’ve got some work to do making the fluff make sense, but the short version is Sylvania-as-Empire / Stirland.  Basically, an Empire army themed to the tone and style of Sylvania.

The idea would be that I could play around with models I really like the look of (Vampire Counts), without having to play Vampire Counts (I don’t want to paint a billion Skeletons).  An upshot would be that I could, if the spirit moved use the same models in a VC army if I decided I want to.  It’d be fun to play around with conversions with Empire, VC, and Mantic parts.

I’d also like to be able to run a more varied, flexible army: with real shooting, access to cavalry and monsters (as mounts, I guess) and book lores.

The problem is: I know nothing about how the Empire plays.  I’ve played against them once, and that was editions ago when I was learning Fantasy.  I’m not sure I even begin to understand how to play Fantasy outside of a very specific loathsome, verminous context.

Scanning the internet for “Tournament Empire Lists” isn’t terribly helpful just yet; never mind that they all seem to involve a lot of Priests, which is something I’m not opposed to, but don’t want to use as a foundation for the army (since it’s all Castlevania’d up).  Also, though I’d like to play an effective list, I don’t want to play a dickbag list (we’re not talking High Elves, here! :D ).

So: rap at me.  What do I need to know about what works and doesn’t work with The Empire?  Where’s a good place to get more info about it.  Any thoughts?  Advice?

This might not go anywhere… but if it does, I’d like it to go in an informed, considered fashion.