Seconding this opinion. Given the current trajectory, it will inevitably end up in a game of cat/mouse for 2/4th place. While eventually a long term meta could arise where the person who is 3rd may try to find someone hiding in 4th place so that they themselves do not become fourth, and so on and so forth, it does seem a bit silly as the above game highlights.
I personally vote for the 3rd option, where ranks 2-4 is determined by # of ships produced, since that's currently the first tiebreaker for existing games (which while I have expressed displeasure with, I think makes sense for this purpose). It's the simplest, doesn't break anything, and will effectively kill the need to hide a ship in the corner just to survive.