You can animate in max, you just have to set the controllers to the right type. TCB I think. Scale is useless, in fact before you animate anything be sure to rest the transform matrix (or maybe it was the other matrix) (you have to do this one part at a time, muli-selection don't do it).
I make cubes with __h in their name that I move around if I want to do a vertex animation. I animate them like any other part of a model, but then in notepad I associate them with vertexes of things and I get the scion type look. I evolved my method from BBB's information.
In short, yes, you can do simple rotation and position animation in max just be sure to set to controllers to TCB. Be sure that no part of your model has scale data or else in game it will not respect that data. Best way is to never animate a model until it is looking right and working in game as a non-functional prop.