A bit like the custom stats rulesets of free heroes 2 engine. They would be able to checked when starting a MP game and everyone would use the host's version for that game. Maybe you could choose the stats ruleset you wanted to use each time you start a game, else you would customize the stats before you run the game and then load those stats in. Stats would be saved in the savegame so you can't change mid-game, and map-makers could suggest a certain stats version in their maps or campaigns.
The reason I suggest this is that different packages of changes could be tested, without having to continually manually edit xml files.