As a newer DM, I have trouble making some of the more routine combats feel unique or urgent. I believe this is because the enemies my PCs are fighting tend to act like an AI, or just attack until they have been defeated.
Lets take the first encounter from the Lost Mine of Phandelver (LMoP) adventure as an example. In this encounter (for those unfamiliar), the PCs are escorting a caravan from Neverwinter to Phandalin when they are ambushed by 4 goblins.
How can I make an encounter like this interesting? I don't want to just make the goblins attack the party until they are dead, but at the same time I have a hard time understanding exactly what else they would do. Sure they could flee at some point in the battle, but I still haven't made this combat seem urgent or any different than an other of my combat encounters.
What are some ways to make combat encounters more engaging than just "kill the enemy"?
Note: I have no problem making encounters with recurring villains interesting. I only seem to have an issue with "less important" combat encounters.