Your post is quite long but I want to pull out a single bit. You raise some good points about balance and I agree that the total cost and army context are more important than the individual breakdowns for single stat points, skills, or weapons. However, when specific items so visibly impact the cost/balance of a trooper it becomes very visible to players, especially when they are unevenly distributed between factions. Units like Riot Grrls and Hollow Men get discussed a lot because as a whole, HI often feel like a poorly optimized category in the game. For something like an HI-themed sectorial, it’s very easy to look at such units and imagine how much stronger, say, IA might feel if key units had Frenzy. It’s not that the rule has no downsides, but people feel like they could compensate for them with the points they would save. Another example would be the new Nox hacker profile with an SMG. Basic hackers frequently are considered too expensive, and here’s one with a big points discount. An SMG has some downsides relative to a Combi, but it also has advantages. And most importantly, it’s on a profile that mostly wants to stay out of gunfights and would only gain marginal utility from the longer range of a Combi anyway. So the obvious question - why are Nox special? Why can’t my Vanguard hacker take an SMG as well? Or a Fusilier? While it’s important to look at the whole army context, CB also needs to think about what signals it sends when some units are really efficiently optimized for a specific task and others are expensive without having a lot to show for it. And please note that I’m not talking about “toolbox” units that pay a lot of points because they are competent at several things. This is mostly a criticism of older units that were designed to fill basic core roles and haven’t been kept up to date with the ongoing design philosophy.