Material is a resource used to construct things in GambCiv.
How to getEdit
You can cut down trees and harvest reeds to get 15 material per hex.
Most maps are covered in forested terrain. Also forests grow over time in GambCiv, so you will always have plenty of material.
Lumbermills double the amount of material you get from harvesting nearby forests. Their range is limited to 3 hexes however, and once these forests are harvested, it's very expensive in action points to replant the same location.
For this reason, some players find lumbermills to be a waste of gold.
Ships require a lot of material to create. On large oceanic maps, you will need a steady source of material to fund late-game navies.