The promised Gears of War patch introducing the Annex multiplayer mode has been set loose, and can be had now by starting the game while connected to Xbox Live. It took us less than a minute to download.
Annex is about capturing control points long enough to collect a winning number of points. Each map has between two and five objectives to capture, with one active at a time, and the idea is to take them over as a team and hang onto them until you've absorbed the up-to-60 points each offers. When the points for a particular objective have been exhausted, the next one lights up, and the winning team is the one to hit the target points-total first, with kills a secondary consideration.
Other changes in the Gears patch include support for 720p for VGA cable users running the same at 1280x1024 resolution, and a few other adjustments: Assassination mode's leader no longer has to unlock weapons and now has to be executed to die; the Boomshot's splash damage is better at rendering targets down-but-not-out; the Hammer of Dawn is "more forgiving of moving targets"; the Roadie Run move hopefully won't accidentally snag cover so much while running; the Kill Message Ticker can now be seen while down-but-not-out and spectating; and various possible multiplayer exploits have been cleaned up.