Chris, yclept John Barber wrote:But since most badges and liveries were derived from the Lords' coats of arms, the heralds would still be the most likely to be able to work out who they were facing.
I'm not sure that this is strictly speaking true, especially in the early arms. In more modern heraldry where the coat is part of the achievement and the original meanings are largely lost/forgottten I'd agree with you.
However, in a C15th (and earlier) context badges did not necessarily have any direct association with a person, more what they were rather than who they were. To take a good case in point Warwick. The badges of the Earls of Warwick included 'the ragged staff', 'the bear' and the 'bear & ragged staff'. These were associated with the Earl of Warwick, regardless of who they were, Beauchamp or neville, had the same badge ... but not the same arms and neither arms contained the badges.
Similarly, the White Rose of York was not part of Edward's arms nor the Crescent part of those of the Percys.
and so on and so forth.
To take this to the greatest extreme, the arms of the King of England do not contain the badge of England and the badge was not derived from them, nor did the Scots, nor the Burgundian etc.
This doesn't mean they couldn't be associated/related. but they weren't typically ... especially at a period in history where they actually meant something.
Chris, yclept John Barber wrote:... the heralds would still be the most likely to be able to work out who they were facing. I believe that my point about the common soldier being unlikely to know the allegiances of all liveried groups on a battlefield still stands.
Having said all of that, the Heralds would still have know the associations of badge and man ... the accountants for Edward IV's French expedition of 1475 certainly did as they used them to identify the major noblemen. Also badges litter the decoration of a heraldic family tree for Edward IV (principally white roses and suns in splendour, but also crescents, black bull, white lion, white hart, fetterlock etc. ... none of which are from coats of arms but all established and known badges)
So with regard to your last point. I agree but not for the reasons you gave.
Hopefully that makes sense