Being between campaign at the moment, I put together a little test of the SIF combat system for my gaming group this weekend. Basically, I dummied up 6 characters with a variety of fighting styles and see how they did against each other.
Martyn Hill (plate and mail, longsword, large shield)
Agility 3 (Quickness 1B), Athletics 4, Awareness 3, Endurance 3, Fighting 4 (Long Blade 2B, Shield 1B)
Dagmar Pyke (ring mail, battle axe, dirk)
Agility 3, Athletics 4, Awareness 3, Endurance 4, Fighting 4 (Axes 2B)
Ser Kevan Rivers (full plate, bastard sword)
Agility 3, Athletics 4, Awareness 3, Endurance 4, Fighting 4 (Long Blade 2B)
Oberon Sand (soft leather, Braavosi blade, dagger)
Agility 4 (Quickness 1B), Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Endurance 3, Fighting 4 (Fencing 3B)
Rikard Snow (mail, warhammer)
Agility 3, Athletics 4 (Strength 2B), Awareness 2, Endurance 5, Fighting 3 (Bludgeon 1B, Brawling 1B)
Jonah Stone (hard leather, longsword, buckler)
Agility 4, Athletics 4, Awareness 3, Endurance 4, Fighting 3 (Brawling 1B, Long Blades 1B)
Quite the group of bastards.
One thing I should not in advance -- I forgot to apply the armor penalty to the Agility tests for Initiative. I don't think it would have made a huge difference, but I suppose it might have. Also, nobody used any Destiny points.
To warm up, everyone fought a pair of mook-types (all relevant abilities at 3, equipped with soft leather and spear). Snow was the only person to even take damage from the spearmen, and that was only one point. Hill and Rivers were, in fact, impossible for them to injure using standard attacks. It was universally found that the Divided Attack option was not nearly as effective as attacking each mook in turn.
On to the main event. The first duel was between Sand and Pyke, and it wasn't pretty. Against an inferior opponent, Sand's skill might have saved him, but Pyke was skilled enough to hit, strong enough to inflict major damage when he did hit, and had a good enough combination of mobility and armor to avoid taking major damage. Lessons learned: if you are going to be the lightly armored type, you better be sure your Fighting is much higher than your opponent's.
Next up was Hill vs. Stone. Hill, with his large shield an heavy-ish armor, was tied for the second highest combat defense and had the second highest armor rating of all the characters, plus he had enough skill to make relatively short work of his more lightly armored foe. Lessons learned: Being faster and hardier isn't as important as having more experience with your weapon. And better armor.
Then we had Rivers vs. Snow in a toe-totoe slugfest. Snow got in several good shots that sent bits of armor flying (the warhammer's sunder ability is a bit scary). In the end though, he wasn't able to wear down Rivers' defenses before falling victim to his own low combat defense and lighter armor. Lessons learned: Being bigger and stronger isn't a good substitute for skill (and heavy armor), either.
With three combatants now eliminated, the next fight featured Hill against Rivers. The two fighters with the heaviest armor went back and forth for quite some time without any decisive advantage. Rivers scored a couple of minor hits early, but eventually the defensive advantage provided by Hill's shield proved ot be the difference maker. This was a tight one that really could have gone either way, though. Lessons learned: Shields good.
Hill advanced on to face Pyke in the finals. Just to be a prick, though, I ruled that the Injury and Wound Hill had suffered in his previous fight were going to carried over. Pyke, ended up winning, but it was closer than we expected. Pyke was down in Health and close to having to take a wound when he finally forced Hill to take a second wound, at which point his player threw in the towel. Lessons learned: Shields and heavy armor good, but they can only do so much against a raving berserker when you are already injured.
Overall, I think my group got a good feel for the combat system even though they only used the most basic options. It is certainly adequate, quick and satisfyingly bloody, but I don't think you are going to want to have many sessions that are really combat-heavy. It's just a bit too repetitive for that to be interesting for too long.
To answer some concerns that have been raised in other threads, it really does seem like the characters with the heavier armor had a significant advantage. The only duel where the more lightly-armored fighter won was the very last one, and in that one his opponent came in already wounded. If he hadn't been wounded, even with his relatively low Endurance score, I think the combination of heavy armor an dshield would have carried him through.