I remember reading once that it is possible to force SQL Server to assume a table is a certain size, or perhaps even override a statistics histogram, when compiling a query. Can someone explain how to do that, if it's possible?
To be clear: the purpose of this is to do what-if scenario analysis, outside of production, when writing queries. I am not talking about modifying the query itself or using query hints. (Examples of modifying the query and using query hints can be found in the answers to this question.)