I actually started a game by hitting the Athenian cities and then heading straight towards Olynthus for triremes and the rest of the Chalcidian League (followed by Amphipolis). I actually quite liked the variety this lower level of food supplies offered. Gave a bit of strategic satisfaction to deliberately cutting the peninsula by seizing Galepsos via a bluff, cutting the remaining food supplies and doing some farm-burning for good measure before finally driving their starving fairly spiky field army out and nabbing Arethusa and the city with Aristotle. The need to shore up my own food supplies with slaves transporting things, some sheep from various distances and sea lanes was also a bit of local variation I appreciated, as well as a neat bit of pacing for the push to Amphipolis.
Initial conquest, not so bad. In case of Chalcis, solvable without annoyance, since the cities they will have left will not be able to raise any troops to speak of (they have no food) and they are bit aside so you don't really need them.
Ilyria with distant cities, this becomes bit of one hell of campaign in some areas without farms. Still, maybe not so bad.
What I imagine as terrible problem is the whole islands area, where you have many small islands with nothing but city on them. This seems like potential nightmare. However, recently I kind of switched to other games but suppose will go back to Hegemony at some point - anyway I cannot say if it is becoming bad or if it is fine. But seems like it may have potential for annoyance.
Later, beyond Amphipolis, there are some (athenian) cities that may cause troubles if unattended - yet there is in general not that much food in the area (coast near to the mining heaven site).
Another problem, not much food seen on roads when checked from the food-rich areas. It seems to largely stockpile there and not distribute elsewhere.
Addressing this with slaves - problem is, they will rebel unless escorted. And escort will eat food. If it would be possible to somehow assign slaves to roads (like with mines) so that they would transfer the food automatically without rebelling, maybe with assigning some guard units as well, this would ease the micromanagement greatly. Or at least automatic convoy system (pick up food at A, transport to B, unload, go to A, pick up food, ...).
Another point, I hate finding out my cities are under attack when they are actually captured, with my units inside viped out. The startup screen suggest it should be possible to configure notifications for different events, but I could not find this. Can anyone point me in right direction, please?