Other allied upgrades are problematic too, but are a symptom of the stgs not the other way around. Adjusting volks and the way rifles interact with Bars should be done at the same time (I suggest limiting hem to 1 BAR until vetted so they don't power spike so dramatically but instead scale) and tommines need a whole rework. 7 man cons are a non issue in the okw match up simply because they would get murdered by obers (as they should) and volks in cover or with any support would do well enough now that cons lost the cover bonus.
Volks scaling should be mostly from their vet. The vet that got gutted because of.... Drum roll please.... The fucking stg upgrade. Okw elite infantry specializing in long range firepower is why volks should refine to close range so they don't step on toes and promote diverse builds. Volks were never meant to go toe to toe effeciently against upgraded allied infantry that's why okw has a strong starting unit and an uber late game AI unit. Volks shouldn't be filling the same role as rifles but lite, they are a different unit in a different army with different (and more accessible) support units.
First. Allied upgrades were not because of STGs, bolster and weapon racks existed when volks still had shreks.
The fact that 7 man cons fare poorly against obers has no bearing on if Volks should be able to fight cost effectively in general. The fact k98 volks get stomped by penals does not mean conscripts should be weaker.
In addition, cons are not having their cover bonus removed, it is only getting reduced and it still doesnt change the fact that they have 17% more firepower at all ranges then a stock con squad to begin with.
Volks vet nerfs began when they still sported shreks as it was silly you could have an ultra durable spammable squad with affordable reinforcement that could engage vehicles effectively. It is incorrect to address volks vet nerfs solely-or even majority based- on the stg upgrade.
The fact is that with the exception of brits, all factions have at least one squad that is moderately effective at all ranges with a slight emphasis towards one range or another. Penals(and i suppose cons in a way) rifles, pgrens and volks.
I dont think this is a bad thing though cons and penals step on each others toes a bit. With exception of pgrens due to timing and cost, you have bread and butter all range infantry that are flexible enough to fit various roles but specialize in none, thereby creating the long range and short range niches that other units can fill.
If I'm playing soviets and go guards, cons and flame engineers are my close range infantry tools. If I go shocks instead, they function as my long range support.
The same applies to STG volks. If I choose to grab an extra sturmpioneer I use my STG volks for long range support, if go for double obers they support the obers by taking up the short range/screening role.
These units are your line infantry, a generalist role that is too important to just give up. You wouldnt force a us player to choose between only HVAP rounds or only HE rounds on a sherman.