Manager Dougie Freedman will point to a lengthy injury list and the Scot was forced to shuffle his pack for the trip to Ashton Gate but two early goals from Aaron Wilbraham killed the game off before it even got started for the visitors.
Forest improved after half-time and Henri Lansbury hit the bar but hosts Bristol City were good value for a first home league victory of the season and one that lifts them off the foot of the Championship table.
The Reds lie 14th in that table but could slip a few places further down on Saturday afternoon and the 991 travelling fans face a long journey home knowing that the 2015/16 season is slowly developing into a battle against relegation unless results improve quickly.
Speaking to the official NFFC website after the game, Freedman said: "The players right now have to stick together and make sure our starts are better. It’s as simple as that."