Overall I don't dislike the new Empire Book, but I'm not excited about it.
First of all, the Detachment rules have been completely gutted, making them almost useless. The worst thing, is that detachments can no longer make a flank charge with only sight to the enemy's flank, which means without extremely skilled placement, and a dense opponent, your counter charges will almost always be frontal charges, and thus add nothing to the combat.
I understand why they nerfed the Warrior Priests, but I think they made them a little better overall, except Soulfire, which is just okay.
I don't like the Witchhunter. It's an okay addition for fluff, but I'll never use one. The sniper rule is useless, because you can only give him pistols, and he can't be mounted on anything, so trying to get him into position to shoot his chosen target will be difficult, and with his BS4 you'll very rarely hit. An interesting character that could have had much better rules, though I think a prime candidate to carry the speculum.
The engineer is better. I will still probably field him naked with a Helblaster.
I like the new Steam Tank, Helblaster, and Rocket Battery rules. I think the Mortar didn't need to lose strength, but I don't play with six of them. I imagine I would feel they needed to be S2 if I knew someone who fielded six of them all of the time.
Robo Horse is even more useless, which is appropriate.
I am opposed to Demigryph Knights on principle. The models are gorgeous, and the rules are good, but I like my Empire with few monsters. That said, I like the changes to the Griffon.
I don't understand why they made Crossbowmen and Handgunners more expensive, or why they made Swordsmen have a lower Initiative. I'm okay with Halberdiers being 6 points, but not Free Company. I approve of the changes to Archers and Huntsmen, and will probably use them more now.
Knights are still good. I will field Reiksguard because I play Altdorf.
Flagellants are not worth 12 points.
The new chariot machines are interesting, and I like them, but I think it would have been easy to make the kit also for a Warwagon. I certainly like them more than if we had gotten a new big monster.
Outriders losing the Longrifle is stupid. They come in the kit!
I like the changes to most of the magic items, except the Speculum, which now HAS to be used in a challenge for no apparent reason. The Griffon Banner got more expensive? Again? Why?
I think the Armor of Meteoric Iron is totally worth 50 points. I love the new Steel Standard. Mace of Helstrum on a basic WP is cool. White Cloak is great, and the Ring of Volans got better, though I still don't care for one use items.