Originally Posted by Michigan Planner
Stannis had much better weapons and armor, superior organization, mounted horsemen, and the element of surprise. The Wildlings wouldn't have fared well.
Manse's army isn't an army. They don't have any organization of their ranks, they are all on foot. And, of the 100k, probably 25k are younger men. The rest are women, old men, and children. It's 100k Wildlings, with all of their possessions, feed animals, etc. They don't have armor and their weapons are whatever they could scavenge from the Night's Watch dead, plus wooden spears and rocks.
Stannis has castle steel and a few hundred armored knights to go with a couple thousand well provisioned and trained foot soldiers. Just the horse lines going through and slaughtering the Free Folk a few times is enough to break them and send them running in all directions. It was a little silly that Stannis' men didn't use lances at first, but what can you do. Against unmounted opponents running them through with a lance is most effective; that and riding them down. But, hey, swords look cool on screen.