So - I took advantage of the recent Mantic sale to grab the v2 upgrade pack (rules, cards, etc) and 4 new teams, for $150AUD.
As for the v2 rules themselves, they seem a major improvement on v1. Separating the skill stat into skill + agility has differentiated teams in a low-key way. The main game change I see is jacks are more useful (able to make a full move before a slam, also getting +1 to speed rolls), which is good, as they had seemed a bit underwhelming in v1 compared to the specialist strikers and guards. Many MVPs are now team captains and integrated better into the teams. Even better, the chaotic mess of dozens of teams and supplements being released, each more OP than the last, has been addressed. The teams have been rebalanced and condensed into the main rulebook - a very cool move. Imagine if GW removed all its codexes and supplements and put everything you need into a $50 rulebook!
The rules themselves are far more suited for league play than Bloodbowl, as games go for 40mins or so, not 2 hours. Bloodbowl has been re-released (and at a reasonable price, compared to most GW stuff) and I looked nostalgically at it... ...for all of 5mins until I remembered the arcane 1980s rules, long games, meaningless "dead" turns and taking ages to set up teams, moving 5-6 guys just to set up the one guy you actually want to do stuff with, boring cages and the head-banging cruelty of the dice rolls.
Dreadball is more ice-hockey/basketball feel than Bloodbowl's grid iron, so it is not a direct replacement. After a score, the play continues with no annoying re-starts. There are only 6 on the field and every player matters. The mechanics are logical, the same for all actions. I.e. you usually throw 3 dice, count any above the stat as a success (i.e. a skill 4 humans succeeds on a 4+ on a d6) with natural 6s exploding, allowing extra successes and rolls for those miracle plays. "Modifiers" are simply done by adding or removing dice, i.e. in enemy zone of control, -1 dice.
Each successful dice is counted. Usually, 0 successes = fail, 1 success = success, 2+ successes is a great success. For example, the 4-skill human tries to pick up a ball. He rolls 3 dice. If he rolled no 4s or better, he would fail and the ball scatters. If he rolls one 4+, he succeeds and picks it up. If he rolled two or even three 4+s, he would not only be able to pick it up, but also run/pass/shoot.
It was fun enough mechanic that I am using it for my kids LEGO wars, and the fact Dreadball uses the same dice system consistently means you can pick it up fast/logically predict outcomes without reading every last rule.
The only thing I'm not sold on is the card system with enables you to play cards to get game benefits. I know card mechanics are all the rage, and they add a layer of resource management, but I feel they are a bit unneccessary, and I don't enjoy the "gotcha" factor of a card being played unexpectedly to wreck your plans. I also don't like how guards still cannot pick up the ball. I mean, make them gumby and badly skilled, but to not be able to pick up the ball at all seems gamey and illogical.
I see the v2 complete box set is cheap ($50USD ish) on eBay and if the new sculpts included are anything like the Matsudo team they will be great. I can warmly recommend Dreadball v2 as a cheap, fast-playing way to get your combat sports fix.