As a fairly new player, the idea of chiefing for a 9c at early game scares me. It takes a lot of time and effort to build up to chiefs. By the time we can afford the chiefs, big premade kingdoms would already be monopolizing the npc villas all around us.
On the side note, if the problem is with the non-actives occupying the 9c/15c by making it their capital, why not make those inactive villages chiefable and the active ones still un-chiefable instead? This will give equal opportunity for big and small players alike.
This is just my humble opinion, take it with a grain of salt if you will.