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We Don't Go To Skavenholm: Blood Bowl 2

Multiplayer beta opens next week

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Skaven are the greatest of the Warhammer Fantasy races. Just this morning, I took some time out to write a series of furious letters to the BBC regarding their refusal to fund my all-Skaven series of Dickens adaptations. Our Mutual Pestilens is a surefire hit and Tiny Verminkin would help our new Christmas Carol to dethrone the Muppets.

At least Blood Bowl 2 [official site] will treat Skaven with the respect they deserve. Out later this month, it's a game sure to take up more time than I can reasonably spare and a new video shows dwarves vs skaven. Surely the vermintide will secure victory?

Cover image for YouTube video

Just in case you haven't watched yet, I'll plant my reaction below this block of text, in which publishers Focus describe the two sides:

"To sum up: the slow and tough Dwarfs, versus the fast and scrawny Skaven!

"Albeit slow, Dwarfs make great Blood Bowl players. They're compact, tough, well-armoured, and have a stubborn knack of refusing to die! Most successful Dwarf teams work to the principle that if they can massacre all the other team's best players and wear down the rest, then there won't be anybody left to stop them scoring touchdowns! Their Deathroller, a real mobile siege engine, helps greatly with this tactic, as it is able to crush any enemy regardless of its size. However, the use of such a machine is strictly forbidden, and the referee will always end up sending the player (and his ride) off.

"Skaven, on the other hand, show just the opposite traits. Save for their Rat Ogre, they're not so tough, frail, but rather agile and extremely fast. Many an opponent has been left in the starting blocks as fast-moving Skaven players scamper through a gap in the line and run in for a lightning fast touchdown. Make sure your Skaven players keep away from the opponent though – especially if they're hard-hitting players such as the Dwarfs – or you'll be likely to end up the match with much less players than you started it..."

I guess the clue was in the header image. The dwarves win this one and it's not even close. I played enough of the previous Blood Bowl release to have a Pavlovian response to the turnover GONG. Not strictly Pavlovian, in that I don't salivate - I shudder. It's a punishing game, with small margins for error and tense dice rolls. I'm looking forward to the new edition, for which a multiplayer beta opens next week. Access to that beta is tied to pre-orders, as are two of the playable races. In a Deus Ex style twist, you can augment your game by selecting one of two races if you pre-order. Boo, I say. I'm happy to pay for extra races as DLC down the line but I don't want any to be excluded from my game.

Edit: Both races will be available as DLC - the preorder choice is being treated as a bonus, free piece of DLC rather than an exclusive.

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In this article

Blood Bowl

Xbox 360, PSP, PC, Nintendo DS

Blood Bowl 2

PS4, Xbox One, PC

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.