So I was creating a my ideal fantasy and I want to give a past to the Elves that would allow them to go beyond simple hunter and gather, but also is not an advance super tech race that somehow is on the brink of extinction every time. Also my type of elves don't have a lower population to the humans as they are immune to disease and sickness unlike most humanoid race in this world. Their low fertility is also fix by their superior ability in some type of nature magic. So the population of Elves in my fantasy world is even greater then the humans. As the concept of overpopulation doesn't exist in my fantasy world because how would one know their species is overpopulated when one have to keep thinking of their survival and starvation? So because of their excess population they wage constant war with other races and each other to gain more territory for survival. This made my elves exceptionally good at war to gain resouces to keep their tribe or clan from starvation. But they also trade with other races when they aren't fighting and they are also the only race acknowledged by the Dragons and Giants of my world as almost equals. So they could trade with the Dragons that have immense hoards of treasure and knowledge of magic. While the Giants allow them to get exceptionally powerful magic items forged and so can bypass trading with their hated archenemies the Dwarves or the tribes of Dark Elves. But the blacksmithing ability is not bad as they need to know how to craft weapons for war, better then the humans, but lacking compare to the Dwarves and Dark Elves. So with this as the setting to the elves of my ideal fantasy world. Which path of these two development would an Elven Civilization take to develop and be better then their rivals? War or Trade? I know they could do both, but what I want to know is that if the Elves in my have a country that is consider a superpower and is the center to the elven race. Which path would they most likely choose more to develop their civilization and countries? War for expansion to prevent their people from starvation and to gain more territory for themselves to grow stronger relative to other races or trade to form networks that would allow the elves to enrich and specialize themselves without the need for expansion, but at the risk of putting themselves in a trade system once disrupted can spell their doom?