OK I'm lost
The debate is:
1: What do you call close quarter fighting troops?
2: Did they exist as a separate body
3: They should just wander around, under some sort of leader, and had no form of structure?
4: Did they have any form of instruction/order system?
All of which are difficult
I like Marcus's idea - Spears to the fore! sounds good if a bit Hollywood
Archers had to practice by law does that mean others (who weren't archers) didn't have too?
Possible changes, personally coming round to the idea of "feedmen" , household (or indentured) men and Levy - as an easy way to differentiate styles of "households"
We are talking of an age of major change within warfare for the whole of Europe and so far these arguments point to England being a backwater with no forward thinking relying on ideas that were outdated at the start of the Hundred Years war - this I find difficult to believe.
If only for those men who as soldiers served various rulers throughout the continent, and therefore would have a merchantable skill on return.
And yes you should mention Shortbread tin liveries ????
Unit id's whether flags (nice from a distance but not good for the individual) down to field signs ( a flower, coloured cloth, painted shield - Constantine; were used in antiquity and after the late middle ages common practice)
Leave a livery off and see how often you get stabbed by your own side
Experimental archaeology involves what we know from the past from whatever sources plus common sense - you do your Braveheart charge against a formed unit (and I would prefer archers plus spears) and see what happens - thats why most larger scale households form up now. because the system works.
ONE major point we need lots more archers please
Away from the battle all are soldiers.