So, this is a "how to mix concepts and still remain playable" type of question, with concepts being the real-timeness of Age of Empires and waiting-time-dependency of Ikariam.
What I mean?
What I mean by waiting-time-dependency is: In Ikariam, once you send your troops out there for war, you can just log-off, because there is nothing you can do besides calling them back mid-journey. The only thing that prevents you from sending troops all over the place in 5 minutes and raiding everything is the time required for sending your troops over to enemy city and leaving your city undefended for the time being.
What I mean by real-timeness is: Simply everything happens in real time and your opponent can see it too. You send your troops, you decide which path they will take, you decide who they will attack, and you basically can micro-controll everything (except for wo-lo-lo-lo, yeah...).
What is the problem?
The problem begins when you try to merge these concepts. The reason first concept works is, no mater if you are online or not, you cannot controll anything happening in the battlefield, it is basically an auto-resolve battle with results being delivered after a waiting time. So you don't have to sit in front of computer for 1 hour and wait for the beginning of the battle, you can simply log-out.
But if you make the battles real-time, then player must be present in game at the time of battle to control his troops. There comes two possibility: Either player must sit in front of the computer whole time, or he must set some kind of an alarm to open his game at the time of the beggining of the battle.
Neither of the options are fun.
So what do you suggest? What can be a great mixture of two concepts?