April 14th, 2014

Join Pony, Nightmare, Killer, and myself as we delve right back into the world of Hammerwatch after our spectacular failure last week. In this episode we reminisce about our characters collegiate careers, find some secrets, and attempt to overcome our greatest nemesis from last episode.

TTL Plays! Hammerwatch Part 2:

April 8th, 2014

As a group that was born in the Clan system of Halo 2, Tied The Leader has always been married to the Xbox console and its successive iterations. There was no need to venture out into the vast open world of PC gaming as all the killer apps were already on our chosen platform. But with the rise in popularity of Minecraft, and PC’s indie gaming scene along with it, a few Gunslingers started to take notice, splitting or making time for these new experiences that weren’t available anywhere else. That group has grown to a handful of gamers who now devote a good bit of their time to digging through the PC marketplaces and playing these games together in search of gold.

The majority of the Gunslingers are still firmly rooted in the console environment they’ve spent most of their gaming life in, as the PC experience can seem a bit rough to delve into to the newcomer. So, for you Gunslingers and readers who have yet to take the plunge into the relative lawlessness of the PC gaming-space  (or if you just want to catch up with what a few of us are playing), we’re starting up a video series so you can hopefully share in those experiences.

Here’s a bit of what TTL Plays:


January 21st, 2014

Last week’s display of digitized dream machines focused on the sleeker, sexier side of Forza Motorsport 5. This week brings an entirely different take on the next-gen racing game.

Welcome to the blooper reel.


January 14th, 2014

By now, you realize that the Gunslingers enjoy a variety of interactive online experiences. Most of them involve guns. Some of them involve magic. This, however, deals with neither. The explosions here are contained within combustion chambers. The only fire you’ll see will come from exhaust pipes.

It’s not magic, readers; it’s engineering, with an emphasis on “engine”. Welcome to Forza Motorsport 5.


October 22nd, 2013

What happens when a ragtag bunch of Gunslingers decide to get EXTREME?

Our merry band of ne’er-do-wells happily answered that question for you, dear reader. Cute, Balzy, Sandman, Nightmare, and I decided to ditch motorized transportation and move to a more man-powered method of mayhem. It was time for the BMX Gang to ride, and ride we did.

Let’s get right down to it.


October 10th, 2013

In case you haven’t heard*, Grand Theft Auto V was released to alarmingly positive sales numbers and equally rave reviews. We at Tied The Leader did not sit idly by while a Guinness World Record-breaking video game experience was released to the masses. We were there on the front lines, standing awkwardly with a group of equally frustrated individuals in a parking lot while “Launching Session.”

Of course, the real fun began once the multi-phase forced narrative tutorial was underway!

Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Tip your servers and bartenders.

Necessary criticism aside, GTA’s online mode has been lighting up our systems on a nightly basis. It appears Rockstar’s servers have smoothed out the kinks. From smash-and-grab convenient store stick-ups to military helicopter hijacking hijinks, our Gunslingers have been stacking paper like Georgia Pacific. Read on for some stories from the city streets of Los Santos.


September 17th, 2013


Mind the zany title, readers. If you’ve had a moment to try Halo 4′s most recent game type addition, you already understand.

The latest DLC from 343 Industries contains a fresh spin on your beloved Halo matchmaking. It is the USNC’s newest Spartan vs. Spartan athletic competition: Ricochet. I’ll do my best to describe the aforementioned game type, but that’s not the easiest task.

Ricochet is a cross between American Football, Handball, and War. Your objective is to score 200 points by throwing or carrying an Oddball across the plane of the opposing team’s goal. You’ll score 20 points if a member of your squad can lob the bony biscuit into the designated basket. If you successfully survive a sprint behind enemy lines and are able to score the skull touchdown-style, your team will be awarded a generous 50 points.

Allow me to introduce a few Gunslingers who took part in the sport last night:


This is your Wordsmith. Note the Ricochet-related face mask and shoulder pads.


TTLThrasymachcus, red-eyed and ready to rock faces.


TTL Ballistic, shown proudly displaying his pirate heritage.


TTL Saej scores the goals around here. When you see “50-Point Run”, expect his gamertag to glow in tandem.

The boys in blue above learned plenty from the match-made militia we were pitted against. You’ll slowly put together the pieces of each map’s puzzle and build your game plan around what you’ve gathered. Each map has its own myriad nuances to learn as the playlist rotates through Haven, Adrift, Solace, Simplex, Dispatch, Onyx, Skyline, Pitfall, and Monolith. You’ve much to learn, young padawan, and learn you shall.

Strategies are abundant in Ricochet. Beyond the fully customizable loadouts, you’ll need to decide if a goalkeeper is worth the sacrifice in point production. Do you slay as many opposing players as possible, or sneak around those out of position? The Ball Carrier has a persistent indicator, though the wily can use that to lure the enemy away from a team mate who may be running a post-pattern for the end-zone. Feel free to keep it flarey, readers; you know I always do.

There are victorious highs, like the triple-ball-kill on the enemy’s doorstep that leads to a 50-point run-in. There are heartbreaking lows, such as a well-placed headshot to the enemy ball-carrier that’s a second too late, as you helplessly watch the ball roll into your undefended scoring area.

Could a Halo-based sport recapture the lighting-in-a-bottle that was Grifball? A statement so bold takes more than one writer’s opinion.

Comments are welcome inside.

Want to challenge the Gunslingers? We’d welcome it.


September 10th, 2013

We at Tied the Leader enjoy a healthy mix of gaming outlets. This console generation has given us plenty of ground to battle upon, and we’ve taken advantage of that to the fullest; some of us even moonlight as members of the so-called PC Master Race.  When our Gunslingers want to schedule a specific time, date, and game-of-choice in which to Get Some™, we use a dedicated section of our message board affectionately known as the PreGame Lobby. Allow me to explain.


Each post in the PreGame Lobby contains three vital components: The event’s game of choice,  its start time, and a sign-up sheet. Respondents who wish to take part in said carnage simply reply to that post with their name added to the list. This process is simple, efficient, and key to our ragtag bunch of hooligans who enjoy an organized night of debauchery.

Below are a list of actual forum topics in our PreGame Lobby sub-board:

HCSD Late Friday – 9 Pacific

Friday Night BL2 – 9:00 EST

Last games w/Duff – Fri 10E/9C/7P

Friday Night Halo – 10:30 EST

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each of these game-planning threads are from the same night. Now, I’d be misleading the reader if I said this happened daily. Some nights do bring silence to the PreGame Lobby board. Rarely, though, do these nights happen back-to-back. Consider this your writer’s “humble-brag”; the Gunslingers are an active bunch.

As any gamer can discern, the Gunslingers are not a mutually exclusive bunch. Our battlefronts vary from the deck of the UNSC Infinity to the deadly landscape of Pandora, from near-future war-torn Los Angeles to a street-lit superhighway in Tehran. You might say we get around. This leads me to my point, as I bet you were starting to wonder…

What is your crew playing lately?

Set aside Skyrim and look beyond Bioshock; what’s your go-to for multiplayer mayhem? When you rally your troops for a night of digital diversion, where do your boots hit the ground? Now that PAX, Gamescom, and E3 have come and gone, where do you see your time being spent in “the next generation?” Come on in to our MidWorld discussion board, and let your voice be heard.

August 22nd, 2013

As the only Euro among a crew of mainly Northern American dudes and girl, I don’t often get the chance to have a drink with the people I share my gametime with. The few instances where I visited the other side of the pond and got some face to face time in with my fellow Gunslingers are some of my best trips.

So when the chance arrived to meet up with a fellow Gunslinger on this side of the water I off course had to be there. Opportunity: Gamescom.


Games in Cologne

Gamescom in Cologne


August 9th, 2013
TTL Cozmo23

Last night Myself, Deej, and 8 other Gunslingers here at Tied The Leader had the privilege of hosting some friendly online XBL battles with The Guardians of Destiny on our Battlefield 3 server. They showed up in force with 18 players coming in waves that crashed against our front line. We found ourselves in a situation we love, doing battle with a worthy adversary in a game we love. We quickly noticed that these Guardians had brought a knife to a gun fight. I don’t mean they were not prepared for the occasion, but they were literally stabbing us with knives left and right. It was almost like they were cutting our virtual throats with a sense of purpose…


A Guardian cutting open his Deej piñata searching for candy inside.

Who are the Guardians?