Forest's team included the rejuvenated Matt Derbyshire, a striker who had started only eight games for the club in the past two seasons.
He had enjoyed a prolific pre-season, scoring four goals, to play his way back into a starting line-up that included three of Forest's eight summer additions.
Huddersfield also included three of their own eight summer additions, with Martin Paterson, the former Burnley player, playing just off Vaughan, who had seen last season's loan move from Norwich made permanent. Jonathan Hogg was included in midfield after signing from Watford.
Paterson was the first to threaten for either side, pulling the trigger on the edge of the box, with his shot taking a wicked deflection off Hobbs that had keeper Karl Darlow looking on nervously as it looped over.
Initially, Forest's most notable response was a crisp, rising 20-yard shot from Adlene Guedioura that narrowly cleared the bar.
But the home side did begin to find a little momentum, with Lichaj curling in a powerful cross with the outside of his right boot which threatened to bend inside the far post before flying wide.
Vaughan almost ended the stalemate within a minute of the restart, Adam Clayton sending him striding into the box and Darlow producing a smart save at his near post, getting down quickly to push away the striker's arrowing shot.
But it was Forest who took the lead as a swift exchange of passes between Andy Reid and Chris Cohen sent the Forest skipper darting into the area from the left, where he drew the keeper before squaring for Lansbury to score into an unguarded net from close range in the 52nd minute.
Vaughan should have scored when Paul Dixon picked him out with a left wing cross, but headed wide.
Forest almost netted a second when Hobbs flicked a Reid free-kick towards the far post, where Derbyshire was agonisingly close to making contact, but in the end one was enough.