As I have point out to you light gammon bomb are similar to bundle grenade and that is simply not enough to make the assault office a great unit. You are using the bundle grenade as justification for everything from zis barrage to need to buff Penal and that is simply not the case.
Now try to use a move vet 0 Pg to bundle grenade range vs late game allied units and see what happens.
Assault officer also starts as a 4 man squad, axis weapons are balanced around fighting 5 and 6 man squads and its much safer, easier and optimal to get tommies. If officer will vet up and not die by late game, he will be useful. You will still get better return on investment from PGs then officer.
Which is bad design.
Repeating it 100 times is not going to suddenly make it true.
You do not like the design.
That is what you wanted to say.
So Penal can not beat vanilla grenadier and vanilla VGs?
1v1 they sure can.
For map control and overall map presence? They can't, its not even a competition. You will ALWAYS outnumber penal build and if you can't use that to your advantage, it no longer is penals fault after all the nerfs they received.
Penal opening where overpowered and dominant for year now they have simply powercreeped from the more more powerful conscript opening. And this will continue to be the case as long as their two mainline infatry available with their current designs. One will simply be superior to other and buffing one or the other will solve nothing while it will crate more power creep.
And now penal openings are underpowered. Because Penals you have in your head and Penals we have currently in game are 2 completely different units. Everyone but you learned how to counter them and they do not have enough going for them to justify committing anymore, sorry, but no power creep here.
Con opening is not stronger, cons simply scale into the late game and do not sacrifice map control, its much safer opening.
One unit will always be meta vs another, even if both will be perfectly balanced and will scale into late game well, no surprise here, this is how its always been.