I don't play henchmen or hireling or side kick. Players do.But what if you don't use NPC's, Henchmen, and Hirelings, because you find combat has enough moving parts with just the PC's and your own NPC opponents?
Combats can be long, yes we play 5ed. Average length of combat is about 7 rounds. Our top length combat, with a single opponent without any support, has been 24 rounds a few months ago. Henchmen and hirelings are pretty much essential in my/our games.