DMs... Do You Let Your Players Know Which Tokens Are Minions?

147 posts / 0 new
Last post
As the title says, when you have an encounter where part of the group is comprised of minions, do you point out which tokens have minion status, or do you say something along the lines of "Here are a bunch of goblins" without pointing out which is which?
I always clearly identify the minions.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I don't tell my players right off the bat which enemies are minions and which are not. If a player wants to make a check that would allow them to tell which enemies were minions and succeeded on the check, I would tell them which enemies "look a bit weaker than the others" or something to that effect.

I usually allow that check as a free action, though. 
"Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” ~Mark Twain
For my games, a successful, moderate DC, monster knowledge check will reveal that a monster is a minion (in addition to the other information such a check will get).
I always identify the creatures on the board at the beginning of combat by letting my players make all the necessary checks (or when new monsters appear). For one it saves time, and mostly I don't want to deal with disgruntled players who "wasted" a daily killing off a minion.

I do try to get creative by describing minions as weaker or more frail looking monsters. If humanoids perhaps describe them as common thugs or conscripts, etc. I almost always give solos or elites names.
theres nothing stating they automaticly know what guy is a minion and what isnt ... Personaly its not that hard just hit it with a at will or something or heck use a Burst/Blast effect if they died they where minions,  DONT use the super daily of w/e (Example level 1 character fighter useing Brute Strike) on a guy thats BRAND new to the fight he could be a standard/minion/elite/solo or such  if you hit him once and he seems to hit harder then the rest assume elite or solo or such if he looks alot like the others (Problem is its kinda easy to tell solos somewhat,  OMFG ITS A DRAGON no its gotta be a minion <3) to just automaticly assume its a elite or something without first testing the waters is kinda ... lames

what if a solo could make mirror imagis of himself that you couldnt tell where Fake or not without smacking and doing at least 1 point of damage to? are you going to be blind/foolish and be like I DEMAND TO KNOW WHAT THE MIRROR IMAGIS ARE AND WHOS THE BOSS! SO I CAN USE MY DAILY ON HIM.


I can see DMS being polite/nice and telling players but over-all in my Campains i dont tell em but it should be pretty darn easy to tell (Example there are 20 kobolts running at you ALL with the same set up ... HM Minion madness)

or another Example 20 kobolts running at you ... all with Spears save for thouse 2 with Shields! (HMS LET ME THINKZ! lets see if the 2 with shields are minions lets try a at will power on them NO? great use the power you wanted to use b4 hand now)        
All my custom made monster tokens have a big M on them if a minion.

Solos and Elites do not get the same treatment, if only because it's usually obvious. ;)

Also, players are happier to "waste" a daily on a solo or elite than a minion.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Never, but a successful DC skill check will reveal them (as a group if common in type). 

Until this is done, I require a PC to do a complete action (roll attack, roll damage, determine if they are doing any extra damage, or abilities) then after all numbers are final, I reveal minions (as a group if common in type).

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

An Easy DC monster knowledge check will tell a PC whether a monster is a minion, in my game.


However, I also give a very strong hint in the flavor text I use to describe them.  For example, I might say "these four guys here look like ordinary cannon-fodder orcs, these two appear to be tougher but nothing you can't handle, and that one back there is nine feet tall and bulging with muscles".  (Four minions, two standards, and an elite.)
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
I always clearly identify the minions.

Once again, Salla has said my answer, both sooner and more clearly than I would have.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Yes. No need to hide information like that.
The concept of minions is a meta game conceit so I keep it out. I have been known to stop a player from using a daily on a minion a time or two, but not always. If they just run in headlong, then I think it's appropriate that they should face the reality of making tactical errors.  I never lie or deceive but I certainly don't give up that kind of information on a silver platter. Usually a could of monster checks and a probing strike are what will do the trick. This is how the group likes it. Combat is a bit of exploration for us in that regard, as opposed to a "DM sets em up, players knock em down" affair.
All my custom made monster tokens have a big M on them if a minion.

Solos and Elites do not get the same treatment, if only because it's usually obvious. ;)

Also, players are happier to "waste" a daily on a solo or elite than a minion.



could use a knowlege check, could allso kinda use commen sence like Hm a Dragon is obviously not a minion ... A Kobolt spell slinging lightning bolts or such is obviouly not a minion ... get the picture? Ya its nice if you dont waste a daily on a minion but its kinda easy to tell who the elite/solo is the only real differculty is telling who a standard/minion is and sometimes you can get ppl to argue wasteing a daily on a unknown or even a standard is kinda ... eh Do i realy have to waste a daily on the standard norm kobolt? did he make a yo momma joke i tooked to personaly or something? or just stuck his tounge out at me or called me ugly? XD in which case i woulda used it even if it was a minion.

concept of a minion is metagame.  If you allow players to metagame thats your option but some of us dont like to allow players to get away with MetaGameing. 
I absolutely refuse to identify minions/solos/elites etc.

At most it takes a teensy bit of genre savviness to make an educated guess as to what is a minion anyway. Bunch of guys who all look the same: minions. One guy with a giant cleaver: solo. Etc.

Although I don't mind a bit of metagame talk at the table, it does grind my gears when somebody says, "That guy's a minion so we should blah-blah-blah." So sometimes I throw in three groups that are not immediately discernable, which I think is as it should be. Blast a cluster of minions with a fireball and at the end most of them will be dead but there will still be three or four badasses patting out the flames and ready to roll. Result is a very cool "I AM BIG FRICKIN' HE– Wait, three of them are still standing? RUN!" moment. It's important to remind players that they are fighting actual characters once in a while, not just a sack of numbers.

The other one that really bugs me is "We're level 16 and there is probably nobody more than level 5 in this cave." Sure, you're real impressive and it's highly unlikely that a bullywog is going to take you out, but that doesn't mean you can just treat having a broadsword swung at you as if it is the buzzing of a fly. All fights are dangerous. Even at level 20, a kobold can get lucky and plink a heavy rock off your temple. So sometimes I randomly give two or three minions a buttload of extra damage to make the party burn a healing surge or three when they otherwise would have sleep walked through a fight.

Bottom line: until you've actually engaged it, don't assume you know what you're up against in my encounters. 
I don't, but my players find out pretty quick. Usually, it's the ones in great number, or the ones not rolling dice...
Thako I like your name but was THAC0 taken?
I'm inconsistent about identifying minions.
Most of the time, I do it, just because I'm either A) feeling lazy, or B) feeling generous. Usually A.
Sometimes, I do what a lot of you have done and make it a knowledge check.
A very small percentage of the time, I don't mention it till they use a daily. Then I feel like a jerk.
It is not my intent to offend. However, it is also not my concern whether you get offended or not.
I absolutely refuse to identify minions/solos/elites etc.

At most it takes a teensy bit of genre savviness to make an educated guess as to what is a minion anyway. Bunch of guys who all look the same: minions. One guy with a giant cleaver: solo. Etc.

Although I don't mind a bit of metagame talk at the table, it does grind my gears when somebody says, "That guy's a minion so we should blah-blah-blah." So sometimes I throw in three groups that are not immediately discernable, which I think is as it should be. Blast a cluster of minions with a fireball and at the end most of them will be dead but there will still be three or four badasses patting out the flames and ready to roll. Result is a very cool "I AM BIG FRICKIN' HE– Wait, three of them are still standing? RUN!" moment. It's important to remind players that they are fighting actual characters once in a while, not just a sack of numbers.

The other one that really bugs me is "We're level 16 and there is probably nobody more than level 5 in this cave." Sure, you're real impressive and it's highly unlikely that a bullywog is going to take you out, but that doesn't mean you can just treat having a broadsword swung at you as if it is the buzzing of a fly. All fights are dangerous. Even at level 20, a kobold can get lucky and plink a heavy rock off your temple. So sometimes I randomly give two or three minions a buttload of extra damage to make the party burn a healing surge or three when they otherwise would have sleep walked through a fight.

Bottom line: until you've actually engaged it, don't assume you know what you're up against in my encounters. 

This is who I want for my DM.
I'm absolutely flippant on the matter. Sometimes I'll make clear that they're somehow feeble opponents (either that they're newbs or weakened; zombies will be falling to pieces before their eyes just walking towards them, gnolls will look like pups, ect.). But sometimes I don't. I always do when there's more than just minions (or, rather, I mean to always; I've forgotten a handful of times). The times that I don't tell are either times when I'm not expecting the PCs to fight the creatures or situations in which I want to discourage my PCs from seeking violent carnage as the answer (not that I make the encounter actually too hard; but I make it dissuasive by making the "minions" have instead a simply disproportionately low amount of HP, not merely 1). I think I do this because my PCs seemed a bit discomforted when I explained how 4th edition D&D operates with minions, standards, elites and solos. So I mix it all up and confuse it so they think less about the mechanical stuff behind the creatures.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Thako I like your name but was THAC0 taken?



Eh When I was a kid I allways Spelt it Thak0 / Thako thus ive been useing a K insteed of a C,  And sometimes forums / games and such dont allow the 0 so i use a o insteed XD  Thats my name eveyone pretty much knows what i mean if they ever played 2E or know what my name means. 
Heck, no!

I absolutely refuse to identify minions/solos/elites etc.

At most it takes a teensy bit of genre savviness to make an educated guess as to what is a minion anyway. Bunch of guys who all look the same: minions. One guy with a giant cleaver: solo. Etc.

Although I don't mind a bit of metagame talk at the table, it does grind my gears when somebody says, "That guy's a minion so we should blah-blah-blah." So sometimes I throw in three groups that are not immediately discernable, which I think is as it should be. Blast a cluster of minions with a fireball and at the end most of them will be dead but there will still be three or four badasses patting out the flames and ready to roll. Result is a very cool "I AM BIG FRICKIN' HE– Wait, three of them are still standing? RUN!" moment. It's important to remind players that they are fighting actual characters once in a while, not just a sack of numbers.

The other one that really bugs me is "We're level 16 and there is probably nobody more than level 5 in this cave." Sure, you're real impressive and it's highly unlikely that a bullywog is going to take you out, but that doesn't mean you can just treat having a broadsword swung at you as if it is the buzzing of a fly. All fights are dangerous. Even at level 20, a kobold can get lucky and plink a heavy rock off your temple. So sometimes I randomly give two or three minions a buttload of extra damage to make the party burn a healing surge or three when they otherwise would have sleep walked through a fight.

Bottom line: until you've actually engaged it, don't assume you know what you're up against in my encounters. 



This.   I think identifying them is a terrible idea.   It destroys immersion and promotes meta-gaming.   I will gleefully and gladly put two or more identical looking figurines on the board without telling them which is which, they'll figure it out soon enough.


I absolutely refuse to identify minions/solos/elites etc.

At most it takes a teensy bit of genre savviness to make an educated guess as to what is a minion anyway. Bunch of guys who all look the same: minions. One guy with a giant cleaver: solo. Etc.

Although I don't mind a bit of metagame talk at the table, it does grind my gears when somebody says, "That guy's a minion so we should blah-blah-blah." So sometimes I throw in three groups that are not immediately discernable, which I think is as it should be. Blast a cluster of minions with a fireball and at the end most of them will be dead but there will still be three or four badasses patting out the flames and ready to roll. Result is a very cool "I AM BIG FRICKIN' HE– Wait, three of them are still standing? RUN!" moment. It's important to remind players that they are fighting actual characters once in a while, not just a sack of numbers.

The other one that really bugs me is "We're level 16 and there is probably nobody more than level 5 in this cave." Sure, you're real impressive and it's highly unlikely that a bullywog is going to take you out, but that doesn't mean you can just treat having a broadsword swung at you as if it is the buzzing of a fly. All fights are dangerous. Even at level 20, a kobold can get lucky and plink a heavy rock off your temple. So sometimes I randomly give two or three minions a buttload of extra damage to make the party burn a healing surge or three when they otherwise would have sleep walked through a fight.

Bottom line: until you've actually engaged it, don't assume you know what you're up against in my encounters. 



this is pretty much the same way I do things its kinda easy to tell what a minion is,  i dont like metagaming at all but a little bit is fine,  example just becouse you yourself dunno wtf type of style fighting the mob is useing im sure your Monk character can tell you that its Tiger style or a FORM of something or another or at the least something.  Hints some meta game thinking is fine your character as a adventure im sure knows certain things even if you dont.  I have to give this above Poster +1

becouse I tend to do things just like that and Like it when its just like that.   
As the title says, when you have an encounter where part of the group is comprised of minions, do you point out which tokens have minion status, or do you say something along the lines of "Here are a bunch of goblins" without pointing out which is which?

I sometimes identify the minions and sometimes don't. I had one encounter with a ton of goons that they were supposed to either run away from or surrender to after they failed a skill challenge spectacularly, and just to mess with them I made them not minions. The xp budget was doubled. The party still got away and I gave them half xp.

The reason for the encounter was. They had been sent the fey spire of Taer Syraen to negotiate peace. They were supposed to win over an Eladrin noble and they opted to just kill him and take his stuff instead. I'd call that a failure and had the whole fey spire's army swarm them. They had said that the worst that could happen is they would get into a fight with a bunch of minions. The color went out of their face when they hit the first of many Eladrin soliders that surrounded them and I told them that no, he is staying on the table.

It also triggered a full scale war between the fey spire and Karnath but that is another story.
I generally let my players know who the minions are.  I also generally let them know if someone is an elite or solo too.  The only reason I do this is to save myself a round or two of them asking me if its bloodied yet.  My group asks me after every hit if the monster is bloodied if I dont.  I don't mind a little metagaming in my group, but that is partly because for all of them this is their first tabletop rpg experience, they aren't really big rpers.

My crew back in Canada typically crunch numbers prodigiously. I don't identify solos or elites for them, but they know very quickly, and typcially almost everybody has been silently tracking how much damage each and every enemy has taken. This means that nobody is much talking about the metagaming, but as soon as the enemy is bloodied their approximate HP total is announced.


I usually make it pretty clear not by explicitly announcing minions, but because they're the only un-numbered tokens on the table. They'd figure it out, they don't open combats with dailies anyway, so it changes no behaviour.


By contrast my crew here in Okinawa does not crunch numbers like that, but there is no discernable difference. Immersion is over-rated anyway. I'm not usually envisioning the situation too carefully, and I doubt any of my characters are really imagining themselves to be their characters in the heat of battle that much either. They're role-playing in and out of combat, but I don't game with anybody who really gets that into it. We try to craft realistic characters with realistic motivations/reactions, but that's narritive focus, not immersive.

Resident jark. Resident Minister of Education and Misinformation.

My PCs play heroes that can automatically sniff out the minions because they 'look' like minions to them.




I personally dont identify minions at all, at least not obviously. I may describe some of the opponents as being perhaps a little less skillful with their blades, or a little more nervous as they approach the characters but thats about it. 
For those of you with kids please check out the D&D Parents Group. http://community.wizards.com/dndparents
I'm not usually envisioning the situation too carefully, and I doubt any of my characters are really imagining themselves to be their characters in the heat of battle that much either.



Immersion doesn't necessarily mean pretending to be somebody. It's more about making the situation "feel" right. One thing that makes it seem extremely wrong to me is having too much of a sense of the mechanics behind the monsters. If I can identify a monster by its mini, or because I have fought an identical creature before, it becomes much more difficult for me to see it as anything other than a token representing die modifiers. If I don't have time to put together enough variation in an encounter then I try to mix up the weapons that generic enemies carry, so hobgoblin 2 might roll 2d4 and hobgoblin 3 might roll d8 or d10. Then suddenly they go from being a bunch of brutes to the one with the sword and the one with the scythe. Little details like that make it feel a little bit more like the characters are real.
All my custom made monster tokens have a big M on them if a minion.

Solos and Elites do not get the same treatment, if only because it's usually obvious. ;)

Also, players are happier to "waste" a daily on a solo or elite than a minion.



could use a knowlege check, could allso kinda use commen sence like Hm a Dragon is obviously not a minion ... A Kobolt spell slinging lightning bolts or such is obviouly not a minion ... get the picture? Ya its nice if you dont waste a daily on a minion but its kinda easy to tell who the elite/solo is the only real differculty is telling who a standard/minion is and sometimes you can get ppl to argue wasteing a daily on a unknown or even a standard is kinda ... eh Do i realy have to waste a daily on the standard norm kobolt? did he make a yo momma joke i tooked to personaly or something? or just stuck his tounge out at me or called me ugly? XD in which case i woulda used it even if it was a minion.

concept of a minion is metagame.  If you allow players to metagame thats your option but some of us dont like to allow players to get away with MetaGameing. 



Metagaming isn't a real problem for me.  My players are video game players, even my mother, and those are fairly metagamey.  Perhaps later, when they have more experience and understanding of what does or doesn't make a minion, I'll take the M's off.  Until then, the Minion Metagaming Training Wheels stay on, and they're more than happy with them, as am I.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I never announce, but they are often figured out quickly.

Of course, 90+% of games I run are LFR, and there are no rules I am aware of that let PCs know a minion is a minion outside of a monster knowledge check.  As it is LFR, I must adhear to the rules as they are.

In fact, when I can, I go so far as to describe different minions as different races, wielding different weapons and armors, going on seperate initiatives, rolling a d4 for damage, and even writing down "miss" damage on them, at least until it is obvious that the players know who is a minion and who isn't.  This isn't always possible, but sometimes it is.

Yes, it sucks blowing a 4[W] attack on a minion, I know, having done it, but it happens.  I've also seen 4[W] attacks hitting a Solo at 1 hp.  Should I tell PCs when anything is at 1 HP?  Outside of a few rituals, powers, and items, that is specifically not allowed in 4th, so it would be logical that pointing out the minions (aka, these guys have this many hit points), would also not be allowed.

Anyways, just my few cents
If the players have not encountered this type of minion before: 
I describe how some of the enemies look weaker than the rest. When the first minion dies, I let the players know exactly which and how many enemies are minions of that type.

If the players have encountered this type of minion before:
I describe how some of the enemies look weaker than the rest, and that the players can identify them as being X, a kind of minion that they've fought before. This information could also be provided through a knowledge check.
Despite my pointing out minions and elites and solos my PCs pretty much always make knowledge checks at the start of a battle.  They always want to know as much as they can about the enemy they are facing.  Also since one of my PCs likes to know when it is one of her skills and which skill is allowing her to know things, I will instead of just telling her what she knows because of say her perception check, or telling her what she notices about her surroundings.  I will specifically tell her she knows this information because of her passive perception.  She likes to specifically know what her skills are doing for her, otherwise she feels they seem worthless.  In the end the choice of what to do about minions or anything else really depends on the group and how they feel about things.  If your group has more fun because they know who is a minion and who isn't let them know.  If your group gets greater enjoyment from finding it out on their own don't give out the information.
I don't understand this mindset that revealing minions somehow breaks immersion. You can absolutely let your players know that creatures are minions and not break immersion by using very simple phrases. 

Example - "Those three hobgoblins seem to have shoddy equipment and are being commanded to charge you like the fodder they are." 

Also I use a mixture of plastic and metal minis and tokens. I usually signify at the very beginning of the session while eveyrone is sorting out their stuff for the evening which will be used as minions and which will be representing normal monsters, as I usually have that thought out when I plan the encounters.

Believe me, a lot of players appreciate that sort of thing (me included), especially when they have feats, powers, and even magic items that deal specifically with minions, or in a lot of cases, players do not want to find out that they wasted a daily or powerful encounter power on a minion. Not finding a way to tell them cheapens their experience, and makes them constantly second guess tactics, which in turn bogs down combat in a game system that already has absurdly long combats thanks to player tactical indecision, why do something that increases it?

For me personally, if I blast a group of what I think are non-minions with a high level daily and I find out the were minions? I'm not going to be a happy camper, and if it happens more than once, I will accuse the DM of playing 'gotcha!' and never play in their game again. We've moved past gotcha DMing (or at least I hope we have), there's no reason to reinsert it into the game.   
   The game was designed so that the only way to tell X is a minion is to hit him.  And such is how I play it. 
    Of course there are a variety of meta-gaming tricks the players quickly learn to spot likely minions and so the matter is rarely a deep or lasting secret, but they get no aid from me, tho I rarely go to much length to keep this secret.
    However, I frequently announce that Mr. Big bad has been reduced to minion status.  From realism, he should be covered in in blood and bruises by this point and it should be clear he can't last much longer.  From a game view, the players seem to [painfully] enjoy learning they have put 101 damage into a 102 hp critter.
I generally point out the weak looking and the strong looking guys. Although I do occasionaly switch it up and it's happening more and more as they level... even the armored Hobgoblins have been reduced to Minions by now.
And sometimes, they all look the same but one of them just happens to be a lot better trained then the rest. But generally, I will identify "weak looking" and "strong looking", to at least them give them an idea of which are underleveled monsters or minions and which are stronger enemies. Their characters should be able to deduce that kind of information fairly quickly.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Before the combat I tend to leave game mechanics out of the descriptions. If they make the right checks, they realize whether or not some of the opponents are relatively weak, if not, they will need to decide whether to risk that fight or not. Mind you, my PCs often scout ahead and occassionally I do add encounters they are not supposed to fight (most of the time fairly obvious). Once the fight start, I always assume the PCs are well trained in combat and can instantly recognize the significantly weaker opponents. In short, I use minion tokens immediately. Instead of seeing it as a game mechanic, we see it as a tactical aspect of the battle and as such it never hurts mine or my players immersion in the battle.

Besides the tactical aspect, there are a couple more reasons:
- Knowledge checks at the start of a fight slow down the game, and also tend to really disrupt immersion and the pacing of the encounter. It becomes even worse when players ask for them halfway the fight when for example reinforcements arrive or they forgot to ask earlier on. Hence, I simply use passive knowledge, and tend to be pretty generous in the description of the monsters' powers and reputation.
- For me there is nothing more irritating than wasting a good encounter power (or worse a daily) on a minion. It is a clasical example of a cotcha type of setup. Sure, you could start with an at-will to help identify the opponents, but especially at higher levels that will feel like a waste just to feel out the skill a subset of the opponents, and it feels like a cotcha when the opponent is NOT a minion and you were in the perfect setup for an encounter or daily power.
- The higher level you get, the less telling descriptions will be. Calling the level 20 devil soldier minions weak-looking and undisciplined is doing them a disservice ;) Might as well get around describing their skill by using a simple one word "minion" ;)

I will say though that once combat starts I am a tactically orientated player, so obviously I am biased in that regards ;)
I never tell my players which ones the minions are anymore. They always know what the mono-colored plastic World of Warcraft board game figures are for themselves.Laughing
As the title says, when you have an encounter where part of the group is comprised of minions, do you point out which tokens have minion status, or do you say something along the lines of "Here are a bunch of goblins" without pointing out which is which?

I tend to give pretty strong hints. There are times when the players haven't been 100% sure one way or the other, but monster knowledge checks usually clue them in.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I don't tell but I'm not hiding it either.  For instance the if a group of ten enemies all look the same my players pretty much know they are minions.  Also I don't let them use a daily on them unless it might take out a large group of them (and the character doesn't have an encounter that will do the same).
No, but I don't try to disguise them either.

I own enough D&D minis that I can put out ~10 minions that all use exactly the same mini.  It is usually pretty clear that the 10 guys who all look alike are probably minions.

-SYB
+1 to lofgren's original post.  However, like others have said, I do not do anything to disguise the information or play "gotcha" with minions either. In addition, I use different types of minions as well so even if the players identify them immeditately they still don't know exactly what they are dealing with.  I have three types of minions that I use regularly in terms of HP which are:
(1) standard 1hp minions,
(2) two-hit minions which have to be struck twice to fall, and
(3) 1-10 hp minions which I will randomly assign between 1-10 hps for all the minions so that they are a bit unpredictable to knock down.