Some players feel that the game is unfair because a Leader Dies Heirless event can strike their empire too close to the end of the game to let the empire recover. The following scoring variant is offered to address this.
Instead of scoring points at the end of the game, each player tallies victory points at the end of each round. Count points as usual except do not include handicap values. Add two points to each player's tally for each Diplomatic Tie to an area which is possessed by another player.
At the end of the game, sum all the victory point tallies achieved by each player and divide by the number of rounds played to achieve an average. To this add the handicap values to determine the final victory point total.