My backstory goes like this: Russians develop deadly virus which kills you if you are not a Russian. They decided to release it in the USA to solve the cold war once and for all.
However, something went wrong. First of all, the virus instantly mutated, and also went rogue all around the planet. Its symptoms still remained as common cold with ultra fever when you fall asleep (and you die). However, it also began being deadly for Russians. However, your survivability rate remained really high if you are Russian and/or of Slavic descent.
The Russians initially planned an attack on the USA, but because this happened, they decided to take over decimated Europe and Asia. Even this operation, including getting rid of all the dead Asians, took about 20 years. As a result, Eurasia is now called Great Russia and governed by the initiator of this devilish plan, Ivan Ivanovich.
During these 20 years the USA was radio-silent and lost about 90% of their population. The remaining people are living in outposts far away from still rotting cities. They mostly feel as Americans, even when almost all of them are of Slavic descent.
The reason for radio silence is: People fled from dense populated coasts towards the middle of USA (simply to avoid all the rotting bodies) and started to use walkie-talkies for communication (or radios with relatively short range, not to be detected overseas).
Ivan Ivanovich wants to become the leader of the land which is occupied by the USA. However, most of his troops are still busy cleaning the streets of main cities and keeping things in order.
Ivan Ivanovich has the Pyotr Velikiy ship and its crew (727 people if I read Wikipedia correctly) to see if they can convert as many people as they can to the cause of Great Russia.
Now, I am playing with two scenarios how could Ivan Ivanovich take over USA.
- Convince them by offering help:
Small amount of troops suffice. Strategy basically is "bread and games." USA is still living in the outposts, while Europe is doing significantly better. So, even though survivors in the USA do not necessary love Russia and Russians, they will surely love having full stomachs and running hot water. (Not even talking about electricity)
- Kill them all:
Yes, as the author of the story I am toying with this scenario too. Ivan could wait, say, 5 more years to stabilize Europe and then do full-scale attack with full army, killing all survivors in now former USA.
Story wise, the number 1 "is better" and less darker. Even though number 2 was the plan at the beginning, now Ivan is aware that survivors might be mostly of Slavic descent and he would like them alive, if possible.
However, is there any good tactic to actually convince people to your side? If we look at insurgency level in, say, nowadays Afghanistan, I fail to see a tactic to roll with "convince" strategy.
Or am I overlooking something?