With all the hoopla surrounding Gears of War's matchmaking system we've been led to believe that come Emergence Day we won't get to play ranked games with our friends on Xbox Live. Well, that's only partially true. The smart folks over at Microsoft's Applied Games Group try to explain the TueSkill matchmaking system that Gears implements for ranked multiplayer sessions. They state that the TrueSkill system doesn't allow you to play ranked games against your friends due to the possibility of intentionally throwing a game to increase anther's rank. (That makes sense, keep going.) The other dark side of the coin is that the system doesn't allow you to "party up" with your friends either, due to them wanting to keep TrueSkill valid and completely random. (That kinda sucks, anything else?) The bright spot in all of this is that the TrueSkill system doesn't prevent you from playing alongside your friends, since you'll share the same outcome as them, but it's all up to chance of the TrueSkill system that you'll actually be paired with your buddy. Hopefully this clears up some of the mystery surrounding the matchmaking in Gears of War ... or maybe I just made you all the more confused.
Update: Ok, after analyzing this more thoroughly it looks like Gears of War's rank isn't based solely off of your win/lose ratio, but takes into account numerous individual stats. So, the TrueSkill ranking system looks at players individually and not as a team, hence why you can't party with a buddy in ranked games. Thanks BenzMoney for your insight, but the outcome is still the same no matter who you want to point your finger at ... you can't play ranked matches of Gears of War with your friends in one party. Also, I fixed that evil spelling error and I love how you're keeping the new guy on his toes!