In my opinion, as Tastyradiskull says, the difference between Empire, EUIV and Anno is that whilst in the former, when you're blockaded you lose some cash, you won't have truly catastrophic problems for a long time. In the latter however, being blockaded prevents you from progressing and if you don't have a large stockpile of what your people require then ruin will soon follow.
I'd say this is very different to Age of Empires. Age of Empires is pure (perhaps the gold standard) RTS. Anno is a city builder and management game with combat very much secondary. Usually your objectives in Anno will not be the destruction of the enemy but having a particular building built or a certain number of citizens.