The beta is intended to help balance multiplayer, plus test the new Steamworks networking and matchmaking which replace the Games for Windows Live features of previous DoW 2 titles. It'll contain all six races--Eldar, Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orks, Tyranids and Imperial Guard--plus the new multiplayer maps.
The first wave will kick off on January 31 for members of the press and "key Dawn of War community members," followed by everyone who's pre-ordered Retribution via Steam on February 1. Finally, on February 8, invites will be sent to all who have bought a Dawn of War game via Steam or registered any version of Dawn of War 2 on Steam--that's anyone who owns it, as the game requires Steam activation. There'll be no open beta
The beta will wrap up on February 24. Feedback collected will then go towards making a balance patch due on Retribution's launch day, March 1.
Retribution comes in six $30 'Race Pack' editions and a $40 Collector's Edition--only available as a boxed edition direct from THQ--which contains all Race Packs plus a poster, art cards and fancy box. Each Race Pack has the full game and all six races, they simply offer a little bonus wargear for the single-player campaign of one race.