It's no joke. The system thinks you can take them on because of your rank. It should be similar, now... a 15 level difference isn't bad, have you seen some lower level warlords go against promethean privates?
If your rating as a warlord is like 1400, then you would be put up against a 950 warlord several levels higher than you. It makes sense, the better you are, then the more harder it will become. It's the rating you have, not the badge you wear. ~Nat