Ok, before I hit the hay for work, I ran a test of my own using the setup you described in your first post.
....sadly, my shot batch-rendered just fine
So, no help to you there.
PS, I'm on Maya Unl. 8.5
Alright, before we troubleshoot, I want to warn you that there may be a "worst-case" possibility that I may have to ask you to email me your file so I can have a look at your settings just in case there is something small we may have missed
Trust me, it happens.
...just wanted to warn ya first.
If this is not possible, then we may have to start over from scratch.
Anyhoo.. Since you say that your shot is working fine for you in the viewport by rewinding and hiting the play button, I first want to have you try making a particle-cache of your sim, then try rendering your shot again.
This essentialy tells maya to ignore the math of the simulation, and simply render the cached particle-positions.
It's just like baking any other keyframe in maya
If you need help on doing that, check the Dynamics Help Docs, or just lemme know.
See if that workes for you before we go to the next step.
Also, just a small pointless FYI in case you didn't already know:
Always remember that Maya will only play-back your particle sims correclty and consistently when you first rewind by clicking the left-most playhead button (the rewind to frame 1 button) on the lower-right of the Maya gui EVERYTIME you want to playback your shot
You can start at frame one and scrub forwards, but once you go even ONE frame backwards, without a particle-cache to derive a previous-particle-position reference from, maya will have no way of knowing what you want your particles to do, so crazy things will happen, including possible file corruption
Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS