This variant was to resolve the three biggest problems my group had with playing the game.
1. The winner is whoever is able to roll the dice the best. If you can roll all 6 colors on your first 6 turns, then you are probably the winner.
2. Rolling a color you've already played means you don't get a turn. This can be very frustrating if you go multiple rounds without a turn.
3. The game isn't playable with more than 4 people.
Pool of Points Rules
A player wins by having the highest score at the end of the game.
When starting the game, put all the bars in shared pool on the table. Players no longer have their own pool of bars.
On your turn, roll the dice. If there's a bar of that color in the pool, take it and play it.
If you knock off any bars while placing a bar, you get negative points equal to the number of notches on each bar that was knocked off.
Yellow Bar: -2
Red/Black/Blue Bar: -3
Green Bar: -5
Orange Bar: -7
If, when placing a bar, I knock off 2 yellow (-2 * 2 = -4), 1 red (-3), and 1 orange (-7) then I lose 14 points.
By shifting the value of the negative points, we found it made yellow (which are the most likely to fall) less threatening and increased how strategically (and risky) we'd place orange, which is often one of the safer bars.
All the bars knocked off go back into the pool.
Once all the bars have been successfully placed on the structure, play continues with players removing bars.
When removing bars, only one bar can be removed.
Successfully removed bars provide points equal to their notches:
Yellow Bar: +2
Red/Black/Blue Bar: +3
Green Bar: +5
Orange Bar: +7
Bars that fall off the structure during removal carry the penalty for number of notches. And, if the bar was removed from the structure during the fall, then the removed bar is a penalty as well.
If by removing an orange bar I cause a yellow to fall, then I receive -9 points. -7 for the orange bar and -2 for the yellow.
If when attempting to remove a green bar a black bar falls, but by removing my hand the green bar remains on the structure. I only lose the -3 for the black bar falling.
Once all bars have been removed from the structure, total the points and the player with the highest score wins.
My group found is this introduced a lot more skill to the game. We were more likely to place our pieces risky in an attempt to cause other players to receive negative points. Additionally, during the removal phase, it introduced risk vs. reward when attempting to get an orange piece by shifting a bar resting on it to another part of the structure during removal.
We also added a second set of Suspend to make the structure less stable in the later turns of the build phase. The second set also means you don't mind when you don't get a turn for rolling a color that has no bars in the pool. If all 8 of a bar are on the structure, it's probably getting pretty far into the game and the structure might not be too stable.