The shift from 3.5e to 4e in D&D has meant a big shift towards emphasizing tactics during combat. While I was apprehensive about this at first, it turns out it's quite entertaining, and a good match for my group.
However, it's not clear to me how much players should know about the creature's they're facing. For instance, if they essentially know nothing, beyond the basic visual description, they rapidly learn meta-gaming techniques that seem to break versimilitude.
Obviously, it's a good tactical technique to wipe out a group of minions very quickly, since they're easy to kill, but can deal significant damage if left alive. How much should the players know? It would be strange for them to know everything, right off the bat...but it's equally odd for them to wade into a battle, striking out semi-randomly, then suddenly everyone focuses on a single type of creature, because they've realized it's a "minion".
How is this normally handled?