If my management station crashes, do I lose all the work I did prior to crash, and before publishing?
The best thing of management stations running separately is that you can "mess" around a little bit with it without actually compromising network connectivity.
Considering you have a good backup of course, we can do whatever we want and put it back to it's place, so I'm not giving you any answer, but why not trying it your self and report back on the findings, I bet it will be very interesting to see.
It does keep the changes that you have made and then you are able to publish them when it comes back up.
Retrieving data ...