I have installed MinGW .. does that make vcredist_x86 superflous? Thinking of it it makes sense that MinGW might do what the vcredist_x86 does.
Anyway, I'll go and have a look at Batteries.
You don't need a compiler to use the Batteries, it's Lua plus a whole bunch of common modules. (And you can use 'luadist install' to grab even more). The problem with LfW is that it uses an old Microsoft runtime, whereas the Batteries do no't need a special runtime. (The Batteries are based on the module list from LfW and the few remaining gaps will be filled soon.)
All you have to do is unzip and put the bin directory on your path.