I believe they charge you and ship it the second it becomes available if you have a pre-order in, regardless of release date (they don’t double-check with you first).
This happened to me on another game I had preordered from Amazon… they day it released it was just charged and shipped without question… I had pre-ordered it months earlier.
You sir, encapsulate the spirit of the game! I can’t say that I’d do the same… (I went so far as to slap some paint and decals on my minis), but at the end of the day - I’m with ya. I did apply clear tape to my AAA50 box though - kinda laminated in a cheap way, but it travels with me on occasion (over the Atlantic in a suitcase).
You call others “die hard” players? Perhaps, but in my book you’re the step up, the “hardcore” player!