It sounds like you want a traditional ground pounding Empire force. Realize my suggestions are coming from someone who plays an almost exclusively cav army.
In general the things you will need to anchor a ground force:
1 large core of killy troops. A horde (30-40) of greatswords is great for this.
2 smaller detachments of troops (15-20) Halberdiers/Swordsman/Free Company
1 moderate unit of ranged troops to bunker your mage (archers tend to be favored because of the better movement profile of skirmishers)
2 smaller detachments of archers to act as redirection or distraction
1 BSB in your main troop block
Everything else is salt to taste. With the foot horde you are playing a more static style of army that will rely on redirection, counter charges and support units to win.
For support I recommend at least 2 cannons (Steam Tank counts as a cannon for these purposes)
One of the three battle wagons also works well. The Arch Lector on the War Altar makes a solid general for a foot based force.
The volley gun is an incredible support unit that frightens most units.
A witch hunter along with the support of a Warrior Priest or Arch Lector will make the killy units tough.
I would also suggest two minimum blocks of knights to provide some warmachine hunting or flanking threat.
As for magic...Amber is decent for a second mage...the big buff is the signature spell and is always useful and can be taken.
I like Death and Shadow as well, but many players like the Light council or Life.
Here is a great guide to Empire
and this tactica on the Griffon Formation
is a must read as is this one for foot based empire.