Random question, but since I've been playing a playthrough as a Skald I'm noticing that a lot of people seem to prefer a Blade as a bard kit.
However, I don't really understand why. It seems to be basically the same kind of support mage like a Skald, but without the awesome song and lore in exchange for two very powerful, but incredibly short abilities. And since you start with one per rest you need to get to level 8 to start using them semi-consistently.
Don't get me wrong, the Offensive Spin is incredibly powerful for those four rounds, but it's also best reserved for boss battles. Especially since the poor AC (especially if you forgo armour to cast spells) and low Thac0 indicate this fellow shouldn't be on the front lines in the first place. So I feel like most of the time you'll just be playing as a weaker mage that can use a bow and then occasionally switch to a blade and dish out massive amounts of damage.
From what I've read the Blade becomes a lot better in BG2 (because you can spam the two spins more often), but even then the lack of APR really kills it for me. It seems that you can cheese it by giving the Blade both Kundane and Belm, but since I like to play with a party I usually try to give one of them to another to make my party more effective as a result. So even if I were to give my Blade just Kundane, that means that usually I'll be doing three attacks/round. Unless of course you use the Offensive Spin (4 rounds) or Tenser's Transformation (spell feels made for this kit).
So I guess to summarize: the Blade seems like a weaker overall bard to me, but with two "holy shit these are awesome" abilities (not to mention Tenser's Transformation) that can give them that burst of power when you need it.
Now compared to that the Skald feels consistent to me. It's a kit that's powerful throughout both of the games and that basically becomes better as you go along. The song is ridiculously powerful and very much justifies taking a combatant out of the fight (which I feel a bard song is supposed to do) and you can also cast the same amount of spells as a Blade does. And while, yes, this does mean the Skald will be mostly a buff bot throughout BG 1, once you get the Bard Hat in Dragonspear I find you can cast spells more liberally or start doing some melee damage from the sideline. Which means even that small +1 to hit and damage bonus finds its use from time to time. Though a Skald is just as squishy as a blade, which I try to mitigate by having mine use a two-handed weapon and attack behind my tanks.
So what am I missing here, exactly? Is it just that the Skald is boring to a lot of people or are there some elements of the Blade I'm not seeing here?