load 3ds max as standalone

Then using the -U MAXScript switch, you can have it run a maxscript (which can contain python; as you may know maxscript/python is integrated pretty well. note that it is even better in 2017). there is also a windows environment variable you can use to "locate" the install location of 3ds max in the command environment. For example, you could do this:

"%ADSK_3DSMAX_x64_2017%\3dsmax.exe" -U MAXScript doit.ms

If the "doit.ms" script has the command to exit (ie. quitMax), then it will run completely unattended if there are no errors (and there are ways to run to completion if you have good error handling.)

It's not as easy perhaps as Maya, but I think you should be able to accomplish the same idea using maxscript and python together.

hope it helps,