after reading over Zhuge Liang's Northern Campaigns and Jiang Wei's northern expeditions on several sites i've found that Jiang Wei strategic movements were clearly more impulsive and direct that Zhuge Liang's which were save and sure.but i dont seem to see why they made real progress considering both had exceptional talent.example::: First northern campaign
At Hanzhong, Zhuge Liang held war council on the method of realization of the tactical objective of capturing Chang'an. He proposed a wide left hook to seize the upper Wei valley as a necessity to the capture of the city itself. The commander Wei Yan, however, objected to the plan and suggested a bold strike through a pass in the Qinling with 10,000 elite troops to take Chang'an by surprise. He was confident that he could hold the city against Wei until the main forces of Zhuge Liang arrived. Wei Yan's plan was rejected by Zhuge as being too ambitious; he preferred a more cautious approach.
In the spring of 228, two small forces were sent through Ji Gorge, one of which was commanded by the veteran Zhao Yun, as decoys to give the appearance of threatening Mei. The real objective, however, was to seize the Longyou area far west of Chang'an: Tianshui, Anding, Nan'an and most of all Qishan, the defensive bastion that screened the upper Wei valley.
Cao Rui, the Emperor of Wei, himself moved to Chang'an to oversee the defense. General-in-chief Cao Zhen secured Mei against Zhao Yun whilst a combined cavalry-infantry force of 50,000 under Zhang He were sent west to oppose Zhuge's main army.
Sima Yi puts down Meng Da's rebellion which was co-ordinated with Zhuge Liang. Meng Da was taken by surprise as he had not expected Sima Yi to attack without seeking court approval.
At Jieting, the strategic outpost crucial to future Shu supplies, Zhang He found the larger part of the advance guard of Shu under Ma Su entrenched on a nearby mountain top. Because he forfeited access to water supplies, Ma was easily defeated. The minor part of the vanguard stationed on the mountain road broke through Wei ranks and the remnants of Ma Su's force escaped south, only escaping total annihilation due to Zhang He's fear of ambush. Meanwhile Zhao Yun's small intrusion against Mei met with stiff resistance and Zhuge Liang ordered a general withdrawal to Hanzhong at the prospect of an outflanking motion by the Wei army. Following his defeat, Zhuge Liang had Ma Su executed for the tactical blunder at Jieting and then published a memorial to Liu Shan, in which he chastised himself for the failure and requested demotion from zaixiang(宰相 Prime Minister/Governor) to General of the Right(右将军,which means vice-general),but he held the same military power even after demotion.Zhuge Liang's careful movements were defeated by impulsive movements!
While Jiang Wei's movements are as follows during his first northern expedition Jiang Wei's First Northern Expedition
In 247, Jiang Wei led some troops to quell a minor uprising at Han Shan county Ping Kang Xuan. After which, he invaded Longxi, Nan'an and Jingcheng where he fought Guo Zhun and Xiahou Ba west of Tao River. Xiahou Ba fled and the army scattered.
Guo Huai dispatched Deng Ai to guard the northern coast of Bai Shui. Three days later, Jiang Wei dispatched Liao Hua to camp at the southern coast of Baishui as a ruse while he intended to launch a sneak attack at Taocheng. However, Deng Ai saw through his plans and proceeded to occupy Taocheng before Jiang Wei. He attacked and defeated Liao Hua. Deng Ai later, attempted to sheild his defence and injured Liao Hua, thus forcing him to flee.
Jiang Wei, angry and mad attacked, Taocheng with almost everything he had. He used his rams and towers to destroy Taocheng so he could destroy Deng Ai. Suddenly Sima Zhao sent his ambush team to rescue an eliminated Deng Ai. Gao Cheng taken Jiang Wei's main camp at Baishui, forcing the outraged Jiang Wei to retreat. Jiang Wei in utter defeat re-assembled his units and launched a second siege at Qucheng
In 249, Jiang Wei constructed two forts at the Qu mountains and dispatched troops to defend them. In addition, Jiang took the native people (from the Di and Qiang tribes) as hostages and forced them to obey his orders. Seeing this, Chen Tai advised his superior, Guo Huai that it would be a good opportunity for them to launch an attack on the forts given that the distance between the forts and Shu’s track was far, and the natives were resentful of the forced labor under Shu. Guo Huai agreed with Chen Tai and dispatched him to attack Shu’s defending army under Xu Zhi. At the same time, the governor of Nan'an, Deng Ai, was dispatched to lay siege to the forts. As they were speaking, Jiang Wei stole supplies for aid.
Chen Tai managed to cut the food and water supply chains to the forts but was surrounded by Shu soldiers who came out for a counter-offensive. Subsequently, Jiang Wei led his main forces to break the siege and met up with Chen Tai at the rear of Bull Head Mountain. Instead of engaging Jiang Wei's troops, Chen Tai advised Guo Huai to cut off Jiang Wei's possible retreat route. Guo Huai agreed and dispatched Chen Tai to proceed as planned. Jiang found out the maneuvers of the Wei’s armies and realized that there was a competent commander among her ranks. Despite the unfavorable situation, Jiang refused to retreat and on seeing that, the soldiers at the two forts fake surrendered to Wei.
Meanwhile Chen Tai, in madness saw through the surrender of the troops and battled them. Jiang Wei met Chen Tai again and this time they dueled. Chen Tai attacked Jiang but he dodged, making Chen Tai hurt himself. Then Jiang ran into the door that was locked, only Chen Tai's blade able to destroy it. He smashed of a piece of the wooden bamboo and blood came of his hands. Jiang was almost attacked again but dodged making the door smash. Chen Tai let Jiang retreat although Jiang would only be able to do one more invasion.
Jiang Wei for one is much to impulsive to tke Zhuge Liangs former place but who wins based on this info?? that your descision