This question inspired by Self-defeating Strategy that posits:
What happens when players outwit their enemies, leading to their easy defeat? In most other games, this is a perfectly valid, often the preferable and only way to win. However, in 4e the tactical wargame part is its own distinct source of fun, around which much of characters’ capabilities are concentrated. Fighting only half of the enemy force because the other half has been engaged by allies elsewhere is not actually fun if the full force made up a proper encounter. When players find a hole in the plot which lets them circumvent 3/4s of it, they are left wondering: “is that it?” Likewise, if they devise a clever strategy to beat their enemies before the swords are drawn, they win the conflict, yet lose the fun they would have had otherwise.
While the blog post mentions 5 possible strategies, it doesn't feel like it exhausts all possible (or even best) outcomes.
How can we preserve rewarding player ingenuity in 4e while making sure that same ingenuity doesn't sabotage the fun of combats?
Beyond that, how do I then encourage players to explore these unconventional strategies in a game that has trained them so thoroughly that set piece battles are both fun and inevitable? (And that bypassing them only leads to the crushing ignominity of a skill challenge).