Ok Rupert I ask you this, do you consider 2 snipers + m3 -> guards -> callins vs. OKW (and even ostheer partly) a fair and balanced strategy, or would you consider it exploiting a hole in faction design? There is a difference between using units in an effective way that allows you to gain an upper hand, and using a few units that are meant to support your core army as a mainline infantry unit because your enemies have no counters to said units. If you assume that this is a fair strategy, that throws out just about every argument against units that are/were obviously overperforming for cost in the meta, such as the ISU and the Jagdtiger.
Other than 2-man snipers not making sense(just because its soviet shoudln't mean its double number of its counterpart axis), its a valid strat that requires a lot of micro and eats up a lot of popcap. And a single stuka/fallschrm spawn can wipe snipers, which is likely a gg for SU if that happens.
Unless you are the dev, how can you call it a exploited hole? What you envision of a faction can be entirely different from what the devs want to make it out to be. In that case, there is little to argue as the devs will not make any drastic changes.
Of course, like our previous argument above, players who lack the skill for squad preservation may feel cheated as they find their obers dropping as soon as they are in sniper range. But then again, if at equal skill, the SU player may make tactical blunders and lose snipers too.
Now, whats mean to support and whats meant to be core is purely dependant on how the player uses the said units. Its Relic's fault for nerfing Guards to oblivion and leaving snipers as they are [to nerf the sniper+guard tactic], but unless Relic decides to do anything about it, tough luck changing anything.
As for your second point about lenny, he does a great job and more people should watch his twitch channel. However, to use his 7 conscript build, he is frequently forced to spam sandbags to disrupt vehicle pathing and generally have an extremely micro-intensive playstyle that most of the playerbase will not be able to pull-off. Even with his love of conscripts, lenny still falls back on more regular tactics (conspam into callins) when he is having a hard time winning.
I'm glad we share the admiration for Lenny, but once again, the whole call-in meta is probably what Relic wanted at this point. Otherwise there would be no reason for SU stock units to be so subpar while having great call-ins.
If that's the case, I believe the player should be exercising pragmatic decision-making to utilize what is given to win the game while the others make moral judgements on how "fair" the call-in meta is.
Exact same logic can be applied to OKW. OKW can field raketens, kubels, le18 ISG and call it combined arms. But all of those units are pretty much crap for its price or don't work well after a certain time period (M20, M3), so OKW has no choice but to mass the most efficient option - volksgranadiers.
Bad design? Maybe.
Intended? Dunno. Likely.
Other options? Huh.
Fair? Well, what else do you want the OKW player to do - just quit game?
If you want to call that sportsmanship, be my guest to exercise it by all means.
So I'm not going to call guards-snipers "lame" or "Cheese" because I know that's an effective strat. It's up to me to counter it instead of crying about it.
If you do not get enough brain to know what is fair, I can't help you.
I don't need your help to know that "fair" does not mean "catering to your whining".
At the moment, any tactic has a counter to it in 1v1. And Relic has left it for so long, which is likely evidence that this is what Relic intended (2 man snipers, call-in meta).
One more thing, Bad Faction/Meta design does NOT automatically scream Imbalance, nor are they the same thing.
Bad faction design is more internal to a faction while balance is a external comparison of factions.
TBH the faction that suffers the most from faction design is the OST and their tech/building costs. At leasts SU gets to skip a tier without huge repercussions.
**I'm not saying this game is perfectly balanced. But so far what this thread has brought up as "imbalanced" are not really balance issues at all.
The bigger issue should be OST tech price/build times, Su-76's intended role, greyhound(buff vehicle nerf skill), and the likes. Check out Romeo's issue tracker.