Halo Wars players get a lot of grief. A few weeks ago, it looked like Microsoft was set to turn off the game's leaderboards and stat-tracking, and last week, a patch was released that seems to be hanging up games and ruining people's fun.
The patch was designed to fix some problems with the game's cut-scenes, which it did, but with unintended consequences. Basically, the patch caused sync issues in multiplayer. According to posters on the Halo Wars board, the problems manifest when a player with the new patch plays someone without the new patch.
As of this writing, it looks like the problem has been fixed with a live update, so if you sign into Halo Wars, the fix should be applied and everything should be fine. As a company rep posted this morning:
"For the most part, players should all have been prompted to get the new update from the Xbox LIVE team which should resolve the synch issues folks were experiencing. If you experienced those issues before, let us know if they're continuing. Furthermore, if there's any gameplay which has been affected by this update that wasn't resolved after this morning's fix, please continue to let us know. Thanks again guys for being patient!"
It's cool that 343 Industries keeps supporting this game in the way they have. The problems were identified late last week, and a fix is already in place -- that's not quite a Christmas Miracle, but it is pretty nice support for an older title.
(Correction: Halo Wars was developed by Ensemble, not Bungie as previously posted. The continuing support for the title comes from 343 Industries.)