Or sleep, or magic missile, or etc. depending on what level you are. of course it works equally well in the opposite direction, and by 2e rules the mage/wizard is much more likely to have the correct spell in his book.Bard Spell spellcasting...some rule they can in armor...as long as it is...
Very plausible to have at higher levels.
Bards were pretty good in AD&D 2e. Got depowered by a LOT in 3e.
PS: One of the BEST spells a Bard could cast on an unprepared Magic-User in the first round was Color Spray. Have to win initiative and then you have a possibility of having ended that battle right then and there.
As for Elven Chain... yeah, maybe. Assuming the DM rules that it actually works in this situation and that it works for non-elves (if you aren't one) and that some elf ninjas aren't after you in that case, and he makes some available. I agree it is not entirely implausible to hope for.
Anyway, at high levels you probably can get bracers, rings, robes, cloaks, stoneskin, etc. so AC becomes less of a really big deal. One big huge problem is that bards do not get any ability to use wizard-specific magic items, which means no rods, staves, or wands. They can use 'thief only' items I guess, though even this is rather ambiguous. Presumably their 'may use any weapon' extends to magical versions. This is a big limitation vs wizards, huge really at higher levels when things like Staff of Power might be in play.