1. Burst Damage. Cons only need 5 shots to drop a model and against Grenadiers it's far more punishing as that's 25% of their DPS being dropped. 16 damage vs the 12 of Volks or 8 of Rifles. It's RNG, but it can also allow Conscripts to suddenly catch up in a DPS race at short.
2. Overstating the 1.087 when you consider most Axis early ranged infantry already have good accuracy and the fact Cons are 20 to reinforce per model vs a Grenadiers 30 or a Volks 25. You make it sound like it's the weapon team 25% which is very noticeable compared to the Conscripts 1.087. They also still have 80hp per model.
3.And? Tank Traps are harder to fit squads behind and are exclusive to Rear Echelon. Volk Sandbags also aren't exactly large while the USF needs specific docs for sandbags.
4. Conscripts are not mainline damage dealers and never have been. Doctrinal troops or the upcoming Penals are the ones who deal damage, while Conscripts take damage/draw fire and be the utility belt they are. It's how they've been for awhile.
The only thing Conscripts should possibly get is lower reinforcement costs with veterancy to maybe at 16-17 to emphasize their role as support/screening troops for the other Soviet units and possibly adjustments to their grenade packages in costs.
If we're really bored, give them a squad leader like in my mod just to mess things up
1. That's RNG, and mostly - it works against you. 5 target hits per once - that happens really rare, specially in one model-target. Specially, when enemy grens stand in any kind of cover, at least yellow. I don't see that as something good, don't know about you. I prefer to have solid firepower, not random. Grens are solid, Volks are solid, whoever else are, but not Cons.
2. Yea, but good accuracy + high target size in that case = nice Vet farm for Ostheer units and fast forcing of retreat for your enemy, because if your Cons squad loosing more than 3 man - you have to retreat. Otherwise, with such high target size they have high chanses to be shooted in retreat, it happens pretty often, I should say. And please, don't use "cheapness" as excuse for ruining of most important part of Cons design - survivability. If unit is cheap, it doesn't mean it should suck in everything. Just in something, like firepower or survivability, but only one of that. Not both, please.
3. Oh... Sizes matters, yea. But still - it's sandbags, you can use them for covers. And it is not much harder to use them, than Sov sanbags, lol. And don't forget - non-doc trenches for Tommy-squads! Exlusive and uniqe.
4. Lol, now conscripts are not mainline damagers. And you suggest to use for that purpouse "doctrinal squads". You know how it looks like? Imagine, that Ostheer would have Osttrupens as mainline and Grens in docs. Doesn't it look ridiculous? It does, but for USSR it's fine somehow.
And I absolutely don't agree with that propagande of "Soviet doctrinal addiction", which you suggest here. Don't you think, that it is hardly broken faction, which gets all real combat units only from doctrines? Normal medium tanks are only from doctrines, normal infantry from doctrines, normal... everything! That's just broken, compare it with same UKF or OKW or whoever else, which have everything good in stock - from infantry to tanks. And from doctrines UKF geting even more powerful units, like Commandos or Churchulls-specialized and cool off-map abilites.
I think, that If Conscripts are not suppoused to be "mainline infantry" in your mind, then they should be removed from that post and should be putted and used like "rear echelones" soldiers - T0 supports to real mainlines. Real mainlines can be non-doc Guards, or some another infantry squad, but not Penals, pls.
P.S. Penals suck. Personal opinion, 21+.