If they aren't talking about the fighter's basic attack with a longbow, then they aren't addressing the issue I'd raised. I was giving them the benefit of the doubt.
You're not saying anything new here. A high-level minion will die the first time it's impacted by a single arrow, and a lower-level standard enemy will not. A fighter at level 12 (or 22, or 30) can kill a level 16 ogre bludgeoneer by shooting it with an arrow, but can't kill a level 8 ogre savage with the same shot. So, what's the truth? How grievous an injury can this ogre actually sustain, before it collapses? Or are you honestly claiming that one damage from a level 16 fighter is the equivalent of 111 damage from a level 8 fighter?
Again, your quantum ogre is being very inconsistent with its abilities. Can it reliably hit the fighter, or not? The difference between an ogre hitting you, and an ogre not hitting you, is significant. Those narratives are not equivalent at all.
If the ogre swings its club, how likely is it to injure the fighter? Does it hit on a 12, or does it need a 20? Can the fighter approach this ogre with a reasonable expectation of avoiding injury, or is it a gamble? You can't have it both ways.
The difference isn't so big. The level 1 goblin MIGHT survive the first 'hit', but it gets hit automatically! So it WILL DIE at the 2nd blow (assuming the first is only an at-will). The minion has a 50/50 chance to also survive the first attack, roughly. The difference really isn't that great here.
Yes, some higher level goblin minion could hit a bit more, and probably on average will do a bit more damage overall, but the difference is pretty negligible when you're talking maybe at most 10% of a PC's hit points, not to mention surges and such.
The fiction sure appears to be the same to me. I disagree about your "narratives are not equivalent at all", Gygax has already long since explained this. 'hit' and 'miss' in D&D are simply not what the words would seem to imply, and again, you cannot paper over that (except again at really low levels, sort of). 4e leverages that fact a LITTLE more than, say, 2e, but not really that much.
So, yeah, the minion manages to do some damage, which might simply be "he fights desperately and he's pretty tough, you exert yourself a bit before he goes down" and the non-minion's miss could be "his spear simply bounces off your +4 adamantine plate armor".
Again, AD&D narratives would likely be the same in similar scenarios.