So after playing for a while without any blocking, only conjured swords, minions and Mage Armor, I've got to say it works quite nice but I already lost so many points that I'm not up to the damage I could do with more points in Conjuration. Furthermore, I had to fallback on Restoration to constantly heal myself in battle. In terms of difficulty and surviving I haven't noticed any real difference to my previous character with a shitload of defense and fire spell specialization. I had to drink a whole lot of potions and some enemies were so fucking hard that fighting became sort of turn-based. However, I took less damage - mostly because my mage armor is only around 180 at the moment and I had around 300 or even more last time. All in all it works rather well and most stuff I can handle nicely except bandit chiefs - these are only bearably when they carry a shield. Conjured creatures come in very handy. They are sill easy to kill by Draugr Deathlords and other more powerful enemies but while they get bashed I can simply attack my enemies from behind and avoid constant health problems.
It's challenging. And it'll probably even more challenging in higher levels where I won't be able to increase my armor as easy as warriors. I could still use wards but adding 80 armor still makes only a maximum of 380 armor plus quickly drained mana - healing would be way more effective... There's still the master level spell giving you the maximum defense ever possible with 80% damage reduction. So it'll easy once I get there, but, well - I still need to get there... Maybe some sneak + backstabbing and a decent dagger (Mehrunes' maybe) can give me some more dungeon-level damage when proceeding carefully. However, casting is a noisy task, so I'd need Illusion too which I find disgusting to use. A real hero doesn't need to cover his awesomeness. I don't know. I'll just play as I did before, get a decent shield brother (so far I managed so stay well enough after Lydia got killed in her first fight...) and some other resistance thingies, too. I somehow have the same problems as before but didn't notice them. And I don't really know how other players can have four or five different magic schools along with all the voodoo you only get when putting huge amounts of points in it. I simply don't know. And maybe I also don't want to know. I'm a simple barbaric rush-in-and-kill player in games, never understood I'm supposed to alternate between more than two different actions in combat excluding the ones I do before and after attacking. I was able to mix them using the now all-nice shortcut and dual-wield system but I can get more than 3 different actions running dynamically. Though I suspect the combat system and enemy fuzzyness.