I figured that I should share my thoughts on what I suspect will happen to the Empire when the new book is supposed to come out.
The big one. Quick check in the BRB and only the cannon has BRB'ed stats meaning the rocket battery, mortar and hellbaster are candidates for change. I can see mortars just becoming stone throwers with AP and a crap(er) misfire chart. Rocket batteries are what concern me the most (a connoisseur of killing stuff with them I have become). They are already rare and have benefited fantastically from the new template rules and engineer errata. If they lose the large template then they need to become more accurate/stay at s5 (with possible s10 center hole???). There needs to be SOMETHING that makes them better than a mortar, especially if mortars and cannons move into the rare slot (to bring in line with the other 8th books). The Hellblaster just needs something to make it worth takin. BS3 and 3 changes to explode a turn is not a good look.
I suspect the new book might follow the colleges more closely either by special character spam (hello Space Marine codex) or just via user choice (ie take an engineer and can get "x"). Hopefully the latter, which brings me to my next prediction...Potential for "Nuln engineer" bonuses to artillery (here's hoping!).
Waralter might no longer be an option.
Biggie I know, but if there is only supposed to be one, and with GW's special character fetish, then this is a no brainer for me. Want the war alter? Great-take the Grand Theogonist...with his current rules = horrible. Give him an armour save instead of regen and might be onto something. However the optimist and capitalist inside of me knows that this is a silly ways to increase sales = NEW PLASTIC KIT that duos as a warwagon. My big hope is that it is of the same size as the furnace/bell kit and functions in a similar way (can join a unit of flagellants *drool*).
Errata gave it t10-expect this to stay. Plastic kit teases with weapon options for the engineer...character mount anyone (to quote the Castle..."tell 'em he's dreaming")
Something that can be a character mount and a rare choice:
Everybook so far has had it. Obvious choice-stank. Cooler choice = warwagon.
This one is causing lots of debate on the Empire forum. I'm seeing an emphasis on the orders to create differences. Currently they are really good at holding their points and acting as fantastic clean up unit...I want to see a "hammer unit" sticker back on these guys. CoCommand/Somight combo on BSB will be a thing of the past, so maybe GTM will get an awesome boost?? Blazing Sun GTM = knights do "X", Knights Panther GTM = they do "Y". Hoping for a new plastic kit (as my knights look horrible and want an excuse to replace them with something cool and with a better paint job!). Only thing I really want is i4.
Demi griffon knights just sound super lame and Forge World has already released this, so hopefully not.
Warrior Priests lose extra dispel dice
This is a given since every new book has had a fundamental change to dice generation (ie a focus on Power dice). Warrior Priests still need something magic wise-maybe they can channel and keep their bound spells. I'm expecting the dice generation thing to be something that is a huge kit, super vulnerable to everything and a waste of space. Also, maybe a focus on the different religions...I see lots of potential there and a way to keep the waralter as a common lord choice.
Well, the mainstay of the Empire. Currently Halberds are good at killing stuff and Swords are great at not dying...leaving Spears to do not much. I keep hearing about potential point drops...maybe. Great Swords definitely need it...however FPA and GW + stubborn on ld8 is still rather good...just not mathematically as good as the same amount of points spent on the slightly less armoured riff raff. The detachment rule still works fine...however I do find myself using it to bring super cheap chaff rather than troop blocks to counter charge. If state troops get cheaper and detachments count towards core, then maybe there will be a return to TVI tactics...here's hoping.
They get their own musing because they were the cop out for the current book. They represent everything that gives the Empire army character (witch hunters etc) without actually having to do it. Maybe a unit upgrade champ witchhunter hero would be very cool here. I would seriously consider using it (and would definitely buy the model!). They are my chaff and hopefully will continue to be so...unless we get solo hunting dogs...
BRING BACK t4 and move to special. Otherwise keep as is, unless the waralter becomes a good guy furnace in which case let it join flagellants for awesomeness. Would mean they cannot hold the watchtower though...
Runefang, Mace of Helstrum, VHS (more expensive sad face), Armour of Tarnus, griffon banner are my picks to stay. Everything else has an equivalent in the BRB, or is a little meh (as in not very "8th"). New items will probably be expensive and not that useful.
So that is my musing. Plan is to see all the awesome new kits and spend far too much money on them. Having painted my High Elves I now want to desperately go back and repaint my empire stuff...but time and money are not on my side! Oh well-hopefully new knights, plastic waralter/warwagon with useful bits and a big kit that is useful in the game competitively.