The question says it all, but the only results I'm getting are battlefield scenarios that wouldn't translate well into the themes of my own story--which is more about escape, scheming, tactics, strategies, betrayal, the battle of the wits, over battle formations, bombs, and etc. Death can play a part in this kind of story, but it's less about any physical battle. Any in-depth answers will be much appreciated!
You need to really understand the situation and your character to do this. I would first recommend reading the Art of War by Sun Tzu, it will probably hep you quite a bit here.
If you want everything to seem like a battle, you need to assign everything values, classes, and other things. Let's take a look at a passive-aggressive conversation with just dialogue;
"Here's the homework, sorry it's a day late, " I said.
"You ought to spend more time on school, sometimes what seems important now isn't important at all, " the teacher said without looking up.
"It was a late night, but I got it done. "
"A loud night?"
"Yeah, didn't get much sleep. "
"There's a reduction for late work but you should still be fine. " The teacher took the homework and continued grading papers.
On it's own, you probably don't see much out of the ordinary, but with some creative thinking you can turn it into a battlefield. Here's a more in-depth version of the same conversation;
"Here's the homework, sorry it's a day late, " I said. Just approaching with a small force, I thought as my mind laid out the battlefield, a small force of my imaginary troops approaching the fortified city of my teacher's strict rules. Hopefully no suspicion is raised.
"You ought to spend more time on school, sometimes what seems important now isn't important at all, " the teacher said without looking up. Shoot she saw right through the cover, can't stop keep going forward. My small force kept advancing, despite the countless weapons aimed at them.
"It was a late night, but I got it done. " Try to bluff past one more time, maybe I'll get lucky. The leader of the small group called out to the walls of the city, trying to get through without a fight.
"A loud night?" Shoot she knows, I've been flanked. A company of soldiers appeared behind my own, trapping me between the fortified walls and a wall of troops.
"Yeah, didn't get much sleep. " Try to stall, maybe she'll slip up and I can get away. My smaller group began to huddle together and look for a way out.
"There's a reduction for late work but you should still be fine. " The teacher took the homework and continued grading papers. What? She's just letting me off free? The city gates opened, and my frightened troops got in safely. For now.
It's all in your characters head, and you just have to use a little imagination to help it become a battlefield.
Overt vs. Covert:
In the real world, people use strategy and manipulation all the time. I dare say it's so prevalent that we don't USE the word strategy to describe it. However, because it is SO common, it's really just talking about what is going on in the story. Strategy is almost everything.
What I think you might be after is how do we describe strategy in daily life, rather than battle(?). In a war, you see the outcome of a battle immediately. There are almost always clear winners and losers. Not so in life. It gets all messy when your 'enemy' is your friend, or your wife, or your co-workers. So almost all strategy in life is covert.
So writing about strategy IRL is more like a spy novel. While there may be an occasional fight, success is often predicated on the enemy never knowing you played them. Winning a screaming match with someone is rarely a win. If your kids know you tricked them into eating their veggies, they'll deliberately refuse next time. If you're cheating on your wife, you have to keep convincing her over and over that she's imagining things.
I find one of the best writing strategies for showing this is to allude to strategies, but never actually describe the real underlying events. A husband might tell his wife he tricked the kids into eating their veggies, but you need to be a very clever writer to actually accurately describe subtle manipulations. Agatha Christie is a particularly good example of another strategy: using authorities to tell you so-and-so brilliantly manipulated something while never actually telling you HOW the manipulation was done. A detective tells you Mrs. Marple is a brilliant insightful person with insight into the darkness of the human heart, so when she says someone is influencing a witness, you make the assumption she's right and your mind fills in the rest.
If you're extremely clever, you can go into great detail about how the strategies are set up and played out. I can think of several movies like Ocean's 11 where there's a big reveal and you see how the author set up the strategy. But if you like the character - based parts, or the devious strategy isn't the point of your story, then I'd rely on inference and subtle hints. Your reader will be able to feel your strategy moving in the background and cartoon in the parts you may not have the time or deviousness to come up with yourself.